Part of our mission at AdventureSmith Explorations is to give something back to the individuals, communities and environments encountered on every one of our trips. Prior to their travel, we introduce our travelers to a network of grassroots and global nonprofit partners worldwide. Our Alaska conservation partner is Alaska Geographic, and with every one of our Alaska small ship cruise and land adventure bookings, we offer a chance for our travelers to support this organization's efforts to inspire people to become champions of Alaska’s parks, forests and refuges. This 2013 season, AdventureSmith travelers donated approximately $1500 to Alaska Geographic.
We'd like to thank all of our 2013 Alaska Geographic donors! Because of your support, Alaska Geographic was able to provide fantastic opportunities for young people in Alaska to experience the wonders of their home state. Here are some highlights from the summer of 2013:
Teen Kayak Trips
Three Kayak Habitat Expeditions brought teens from Anchorage and the Prince William Sound communities of Whittier, Valdez, Chenega Bay. Cordova and Homer together for 10-day programs that took them around the Nellie-Juan College Fiord Wilderness Areas and out to Harriman Glacier. The youth learned paddling and backcountry camping skills, conducted lichen studies to relate to climate change and air quality, removed invasive species and photographed glaciers to compare with historical images to document rate of glacial retreat.
Marine Debris Expedition
Aboard the Babkin, nine middle school kids cruised through Prince William Sound to learn about the impact of marine debris and lingering oil on the environment. They did plankton tows to study the minute animal and plant life that support the Sound’s ecosystem, caught wild halibut and shrimp, and visited a hatchery to learn the importance of commercial fishing to the Sound’s economy.
NOLS Ice Climbing
This July, Alaska Geographic was thrilled to partner with National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to bring kids ice climbing, and the last weekend in July found nine of Alaska Geographic's program youth top-roping on Matanuska Glacier under the watchful eye of NOLS instructors. The kids celebrated their achievements with an overnight camping trip.
Meeting the Expedition Denali Climbing Team
Another special highlight of July 2013 was the chance for some Alaska Geographic youth participants to meet the Expedition Denali climbing team at the NOLS headquarters in Palmer. The climbers, the first all-African American team to attempt the summit of Mt. McKinley, were really excited to meet the youth and gave them great encouragement to keep on a path that leads outdoors.
We hope you'll consider donating to Alaska Geographic or one of our other nonprofit partners with your next AdventureSmith trip. Read about our partners and other conservation efforts on the AdventureSmith Conservation page.