DENALI NATIONAL PARK—Denali Summerfest was created with the park’s youngest visitors and local Alaskans in mind.
“We wanted to make learning about the park fun,” said Monica Magari, centennial interpreter at the park. “Most of the activities offered were interactive, like the mock archaeological dig and the wildlife olympics.”
Kids went from station to station to see how they matched up with park wildlife: A snowshoe hare can leap 10 feet in a single bound. How far can you jump in one leap? A caribou can sprint 60 miles per hour or 25 yards in one second. How fast can you run?
And most visitors signed the Zero Tolerance pledge: “I pledge to stop using single-serve bottles. Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles an hour.”
Subaru is sponsoring a Zero Landfill Initiative in the Denali Borough, and a group of local teen ambassadors were on hand to share information and recycled bags with signers of the pledge. They are spearheading the effort in local schools and sharing recycling information with the community.
Denali Summerfest commemorated the 100th birthday of Denali National Park. It included education booths, live music, refreshments and many excited visitors of all ages.
One booth encouraged visitors to share their Denali stories on social media, and I nudged a bystander to step forward and share his personal story.
“I was the first one,” he told me. He was Ken Karstens, the great-grandson of Harry Karstens, the first superintendent of Denali National Park.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at email@example.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.