Written by Courtney James, Chad Ward, Ethan Kadake, Brandon Ward, Bree Travica, and Audrey Clavijo


On Saturday, July 11th we hosted the 2nd-Annual Kake Community Clean Up! A total of 31 local volunteers came out to help and together we 386.4 pounds of garbage. There were two main rules: #1 trash must be picked up by hand and #2 trash cannot be taken from the local garbage dump. Overall, the clean up turned out great! Thanks so much to everyone who came out to help!


We went out to Grave Island to work on a new trail that will provide access to grave sites on the Northern coast of the island. It was a nasty rainy day but we completed about 15-20 feet more trail. Court and Ethan filled up buckets of sand from the beach and carried them up to put on the finishing coat. Bree raked the sand to spread it out and make it level. Brandon and Audrey dug up the trail with pickaxes and put down the black felt that will inhibit weeds from growing in the path. At the end, before we left, we all worked together and helped each other and got a lot done. Teamwork makes the dream work!


Bob Christensen from the Sustainable Southeast Partnership started his work with us. He asked us about our visions for Kake- what changes and developments would we like to see in our village in the future? He had us draw what we wanted to be out at a favorite local spot, Point McCartney. Courtney planned an outlet mall of local shops, restaurants, and a coffee shop. Ethan and Chad worked together on a RV parking area with a race track for dirt bikes and four wheelers. Bree envisioned a scenic outlook where locals could drive down to the beach and look at the beautiful view. After drawing out our plans on paper, we went to survey the land. We went out to Point McCartney and showed each other our vision.


On Wednesday we spoke more about our visions for Kake and the pros and cons of developing a site near Point McCartney. Even though it’s a beautiful place, we agreed that there may be equally nice places to develop that are closer to town. Kake Mayor, Lloyd Davis popped in and mentioned that he had always imagined a nice rec site on a plot of land a mile South of town that locals call Saudeberg. This land used to be a trailer park for loggers of the Sauderburg Timber Company. There are no longer trailers in this place but it is a favorite spot for locals to find strawberries.

We head out to Sauderbergs to check it out! We all picked hypothetical positions in the planning process. Bree would be the Designer for the job. She drew a scenic outlook and planned out where the different facilities would be. Ethan would be the Safety Officer. His job would be to make sure all visitors (both tourists and Kake community members) are safe and that the site closes each night. Courtney would be the Health and Fitness Facilitator. Brandon would be the Promoter of the space, recruiting funders and local interest. Chad would be the Construction and Labor Lead. He would decide what materials are needed and hire local construction workers, mill-operators, and artisans for the project. 


On Thursday we went back to Sauderburgs to check out the site. We walked down an old logging road and even fixed one of Bob Christensen’s GIS maps in which a stream was incorrectly estimated. 

Afterwards, we went to Jenny Creek to see the fish barrier and learn about salmon habitat. Willow Jackson and Kylie Rose-Wooten joined us for the whole day. We enjoyed their company. Kylie is an alumni of TRAYLS/YCC and Willow is contracted with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership to take photos of the crew this season. Overall it was a good sunny day for everyone.


Friday we went into the field and did a competitive scavenger hunt led by Bob C. The task was to fill out an ArcGIS survey, using the KKCFP iPads and take photos of the different resources. We took pictures of wildlife, coho streams, trees for shelter, and plants used for food and medicine. It was boys against girls: Chad and Ethan vs Bree and Courtney. The winning team would win $50 dollars! 

It was neck and neck- The boys won by only 5 points! (The point amount of bear scat!) Bob had the girls do the math to figure out how much percent they lost by. In the end, he gave all participants the winning prize, so we all won! 

Screenshot from the competitive scavenger hunt.

Also, big shout out to crew member ETHAN who turned 16 on Friday! Here’s a picture of him enjoying a birthday treat. Happy Birthday, Ethan, we are so grateful to have you on our crew to keep us smiling and laughing.

Launched in 2017, the Training Rural Alaskan Youth Leaders and Students (TRAYLS) Program provides hands-on experience with natural resource management technical skills and cultural knowledge while preparing youth to occupy leadership roles in their communities.  This year, TRAYLS and Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) programs are active in three Southeast communities: Kake, Hoonah, and Angoon.