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  • Writer's pictureLee Hart

Alaska Outdoor Week Adapts, Adds Lunch & Learn Sessions to Benefit Legislators, Staff

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

JUNEAU - Alaska Outdoor Alliance, the statewide voice for outdoor recreation, has put together a series of briefing sessions aimed at educating legislators and staff about this year’s outdoor recreation sector priorities. AOA encourages decision-makers and staff to tune in each Wednesday in March from Noon to 1 p.m. to learn more about budget and policy issues that can help advance the state’s $2.2 billion outdoor recreation economy.

For the past three years, a delegation of leading voices from the outdoor recreation sector traveled to Juneau the first week of March for the legislative fly-in they call Alaska Outdoor Week. One of the highlights of the week was a catered Lunch and Learn on Wednesday. In light of COVID restrictions and tight scheduling, this year AOA is hosting a series of Lunch and Learns every Wednesday in March. Though lunch can’t be served, recordings of the sessions will be made available to registered Zoom participants unable to attend the live session.

The following is the calendar of topics, guest speakers and links to Zoom streams. All sessions begin at Noon and end at 1 p.m. Though these March sessions are targeted to be of particular value to legislators and staff, they are also open to interested members of the public and free for all to attend.

March 3. Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure is Critical Infrastructure.

Making the case for the benefits of state investment in outdoor recreation infrastructure.

James Kings, USFS Regional Director of Recreation, Lands and Minerals;

Joelle Hall, Alaska AFL-CIO, and Anchorage Park Foundation;

George Schaaf, Juneau Parks and Recreation COVID Conservation Corps;

Leah Boltz, Bettisworth North Architects and Planning, and Parks for All;

Committee alignment: Resources, Finance, Transportation.

Get the Zoom link to watch live or get the recording.

March 10. Investing in Critical Infrastructure: Alaska Long Trail GO Bond

A prime example of how investing in relatively low-cost outdoor recreation infrastructure will return big dividends for the state.

Lee Hart, Alaska Outdoor Alliance;

Chris Beck, Alaska Trails;

More speakers TBA.

Committee alignment: Resources, Finance.

Get the Zoom link to watch live or get the recording.

March 17. Investing in the Future: Connecting Kids Education and Nature

Outdoor learning is a proven low-cost way to improve test scores, health, and social-emotional outcomes.

Jessica Szelag, Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area;

Melanie Sutton, Anchorage School District Health & PE Coordinator;

Meredith Gutierrez, Youth Engagement Coordinator at the Anchorage Park Foundation.

Committee alignment: Education

Get the Zoom link to watch live or get the recording.

March 24: Investing in Transforming Transportation

Administrative code changes seek to make Alaska more bike and pedestrian friendly, community snow machine grants benefit winter transportation networks, and Alaska-class road maintenance is a must-have for winter business.

Jackson Fox, FAST Planning;

Nick D'Alessio, Alaska Guide Collective;

Nick Olzenak, Alaska Mining and Diving;

Michele Stevens, Alaska Snow Machine Alliance;

TBA, bike shop

Committee alignment: Transportation, Finance

Get the Zoom link to watch live or get the recording.

ABOUT. Alaska Outdoor Alliance is dedicated to ensuring Alaska has the best, equitable and inclusive outdoor recreation economy in the world.Alaska has the seventh largest outdoor economy in the US, accounting for 3.9 percent of state GDP. Get the fact sheet.

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