Celebrating in the snow

Refuge announces February activities

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, which is celebrating its 80th winter, dropped its outdoor February activities schedule last week, which features guided classes and recreational outings for both kids and adults.

Michelle Ostrowski, the education specialist at the refuge, said the February activities are a safe alternative while indoor programming is temporarily suspended.

“This is a way for us to connect with the community again,” she said.

The refuge will offer guided snowshoe walks ranging in difficulty. The adult fitness 3-mile walk will start at 12:30 p.m., and the family-friendly 1-mile route starts at 3 p.m. every Friday through March 4. Snowshoes are provided with pre-registration.

Ostrowski will lead the snowshoe walks, which she said will be well-suited for beginners.

The refuge will also be hosting a weekend of outdoor winter skills classes aimed at teaching recreators about building fires and snow shelters, and strengthening overall survival skills on Feb. 18-19.

This is the first time the refuge has offered a class like this, Ostrowski said. Whether it’s an incident in the backcountry or a car breaking down, she said “they’re always good skills to know.”

Folks can choose between either the Friday or Saturday session for their kids. The 8- to 12-year-old classes on both days will be from 10 a.m. to noon, and the ages 13- to 17-year-old sessions will be on both days from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

To register for the Friday snowshoe walks or the outdoor winter skills classes, call the refuge at 907-260-2839.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.