Sitka Trail Works, Inc Mission Statement:
The Sitka Trail Works Board of Directors, staff and membership is dedicated to working efficiently and supportively with our partners to create, maintain and promote a beautiful, diversified and accessible trail system; as our gift to future generations. These trails will provide a wide range of opportunities for physical activity, economic development, cultural enrichment and spiritual renewal.
Get to Know Our Board Members:
Learn a little bit about our current Sitka Trail Works, Inc. Board Members and Employees.
The talents and energies of the Sitka Trail Works Board of Directors and staff are dedicated to accomplishing the following services in support of the Mission Statement.
- Develop and build the trails in the 2003 Sitka Trail Plan. This includes fundraising for projects.
- Support our trail plan partners, the City and Borough of Sitka, USDA Forest Service Sitka Ranger District, National Park Service and Sitka Tribe of Alaska in implementing projects in the 2003 Trail Plan; through the MOU process, and through working collaboratively whenever possible.
- Involve and empower our membership to be advocates for trails, to participate as donors, as volunteers, and as hikers.
- Sponsor the hiking club and special events that expose more users to the benefits of trails and create new opportunities for outdoor family recreation.
- Foster community partnerships with health care providers, schools and youth groups in order to create healthier lifestyles and increase physical activity.
- Perform trail maintenance and small scale trail construction whenever needed or made possible by available funding.
- Promote the use and appreciation of trails through development and distribution of information.
- Employ Alaskan and residents of Sitka first, giving particular emphasis to developing trail maintenance skills within the community and among youth.
- Purchase all trail materials and services locally to the greatest extent possible.
- Help diversify Sitka’s economy through the creation of new recreation infrastructure.
A Brief History of Sitka Trail Works, Inc.
Sitka Trail Works, Inc. was incorporated in 1997 to retrain and employ displaced mill workers and built over 6 miles of community trails with Congressional funding made available after the closure of the ALP pulp mill. STW was an important safety net for these displaced workers, employing them as they remained in the community and retrained for more skilled, long term employment.
In 1999 the timber relief funds ended and the Sitka Trail Works Board of Directors reorganized under a new business model that emphasized a wider range of services to the community including planning and funding a new trail system, advocating for healthier lifestyles involving physical exercise and coordinating volunteer and paid laborers for trail maintenance and construction.
STW is achieving its mission through a combination of great leadership provided by the Board and Executive Director and through the strong community partnerships that forged during the creation of the 2003 Sitka Trail Plan. The trail plan was published by STW after 3 years of community dialogue.
View Sitka Trail Plan The trail plan lists 14 new projects around the Sitka area.
STW concentrates it efforts in the Sitka area of Southeast Alaska on projects located on Baranof, Kruzof and Chichagof Islands. The 9,000 residents of Sitka are the most immediate beneficiaries of STW services. 100,000 annual cruise ships visitors and other independent travelers will also enjoy the use of the trail system.
STW is widely supported in the community with membership list of over 500 households, 250 of which are current. Recently STW received 33 resolutions and letters of support for their work implementing the Trail Plan projects. The City and Borough of Sitka donates office space and provides a small operations grant each year.
Sitka Trail Works provides many services to the community. From May to September the organization publishes a calendar of activities and sponsors free guided hikes and volunteer trail maintenance work days. Sitka Trail Works also employs a seasonal crew of laborers. They are employed as funds are available in larger scale trail reconstruction projects. Recent projects include the completion of the Sawmill Cove Loop trail system which is now composed of the Thimbleberry, Herring Cove and Beaver Lake Trails and they are all joined by Blue Lake Road and the new pathway to be built this summer along Silver Bay on Sawmill Creek road. Work on the Cross trail multiuse pathway is ongoing. During 2011 the bridge will be installed across cascade Creek and work will also occur to upgrade the trail from Gavan Hill to Yaw Drive for cyclists. Older projects include the Sea Lion Cove Trail: 2.5 miles trail reconstruction; The Path of Hope: 1,000 ft park walkways; The Baranof Lake Trail: 600 ft elevated boardwalks, Mosquito Cove and Verstovia trails. STW also has regular trail maintenance agreements with the City and Borough of Sitka and Alaska State Parks.
Sitka Trail Works is currently conducting a capital campaign to raise $84,000 in local matching funding to secure over $800,000 in Federal funds for continued work on the Cross trail from Yaw drive to Sitka High School. To contribute, please mail your donation to 801 HPR Sitka, AK 99835 or call the office at 747-7244 with credit card information.