Generous gifts help fuel CACS

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies has recently been the recipient of some amazing generosity. We are so thankful for the support that has come our way to help us with improving our infrastructure and providing outdoor education experiences to a wide variety of people.

Last month we were awarded $135,000 from the Murdock Charitable Trust for our Peterson Bay Field Station Dock Replacement project. This project is vital to ensuring that we can continue to offer programing at our Peterson Bay Field Station as an encroaching sand bar has made our aging floating dock and raft system basically inoperable. Together, grants from the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Rasmuson Foundation ($135,000), the Skagg’s Foundation ($5,000) and individual donations totaling $14,000 have raised $289,000 toward our new dock, leaving only $40,000 to fund. The new dock should be completed by mid-August.

You may see an octopus on the move around town soon — the Rasmuson Foundation awarded CACS $25,000 to purchase a new van to be used to help transport kids to and from programs ranging from the Wynn Nature Center to the Yurt on the Spit — and places in between.  CACS hopes that the 12-passenger van will help alleviate some of the transportation problems that have been identified as a barrier to quality of life and participation in programs. Parents will be able to drop off and pick up their kids at our headquarters building in town and enjoy the benefits of “carpooling.” We hope that the easy access to reliable transportation will help get more kids outside this summer.

And the amazing generosity of Homer’s local businesses always continues to astound us. For more than six years, Nancy Hilstrand has generously donated space on the Homer Spit for our yurt which has been the jumping off place for our adventures to Peterson Bay as well as a place where we offer many educational opportunities for all ages from Little S.P.I.T.S. — a preschool story hour on Tuesdays to Creatures of the Dock Tours — an hour of amazing discovery of what lives beneath the harbor.

Earlier this summer Mike Warburton, owner of Ocean Shores Motel, donated seven rooms to house teachers who traveled to Homer to participate in the Investigating Alaska Coastal Ecology course offered by CACS through the Anchorage School District’s Teacher Academy program. This course provided a hands-on experience at our Field Station where teachers got exposed to methods of enhancing the STEM curriculum through outdoor experiences.  

Last week the Homestead Restaurant hosted a wine-tasting event on our behalf. As one of many local non-profits, CACS works hard to raise unrestricted funds to deliver programs aligned with our mission and we appreciate the support of the local business community.

Beth Trowbridge, executive director

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies