Janteh Science Camp attendees, left to right, Greg VanVelzor, Julee-Anna VanVelzor, Tiffany Lopez, Briana Weimer, Jon Peterson, Sondra Stuart, Todd Knell, Summer Trefon, Kimi Trefon, Katherine VanVelzor, Desiree Barbaza, Isabelle Lopez, Bryan Ulrickson, Haley Trefon, Nadia Walluk and Shawna Kowchee are shown during their beach cleanup in July where they were able to pull more than 120 pounds of trash from the beach during dipnet season, saving the environment one bag of trash at a time.
Photo provided by Brenda Trefon
What did you do this summer?
Well, 20 area youth taking part in the Janteh Science Camp with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe can say the learned about conservation, traditional Alaska Native medicines and hosted a beach cleanup. The camp is held for youths ages 5 to 10.
Science experiments included learning about traditional plant use and making a skin salve with wormwood, a soothing medicinal plant.
The kids also talked about keeping their homes safe from toxic products and made homemade nontoxic kitchen cleanser and laundry soap.
With help from funding from Alaska Coastal Studies and Cook Inletkeeper through the NOAA community-based Marine Debris Cleanup and Prevention program, the campers organized a beach cleanup.
The youth, along with volunteers and family members, walked two miles along the north and south beach at the mouth of the Kenai River on July 14 at the height of dipnet season.
The group caught a low tide and picked up debris along the beach and tide marks.
The kids and volunteers picked up more than 120 pounds of trash.
Janteh campers and volunteers celebrated the successful cleanup effort with a picnic with their families at the Tribal Educational Fisheries site.
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