The MMT Blog / Chugach Children’s Forest Helps Local Youth and Wounded Warriors Discover Prince William Sound

Over 80% of Alaska is public land, providing endless opportunities for exploration and recreation. This land consists of National Parks like Kenai Fjords National Park, National Forests like Chugach National Forest, State Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and more. Even though there are endless ways to enjoy Alaska’s 300 million acres of public lands, many are not able to experience these wild places due to financial and cultural obstacles. Chugach Children’s Forest was created to help fix this, making Alaska’s public lands more accessible to Alaska’s youth. The organization, which is a partnership between Alaska Geographic, Chugach National Forest, and 30 other local partners, brings underrepresented youth into their own backyard, organizing outdoor adventures and exposing youth to outdoor recreation, stewardship, and career paths.

On Sunday, May 24th, participants of Chugach Children’s Forest and Wounded Warrior Project boarded the Kenai Star for a memorable day cruising the waterways of the Chugach National Forest and learning about their public lands. The group embarked on a Wilderness Explorers Day Cruise to experience first-hand the health benefits and restorative effects of spending time in Alaska’s great outdoors.

Participants of the Chugach Children's Forest Cruise

Teen views Blackstone Bay on Chugach Children's Forest Cruise

Child looks at Blackstone Bay on Chugach Children's Forest Cruise

The group visited the towering glaciers of Blackstone Bay and marveled at the spectacular scenery of Prince William Sound. Speakers from the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish & Wildlife Service, The Wilderness Society, National Park Service, and other agencies and nonprofit organizations spoke about the importance of public lands and spending time outside.

Guest on Chugach Children's Forest Cruise

Guests view Blackstone Bay on Chugach Children's Forest Cruise

Alaska Geographic was able to offer the trip for free or at low cost to youth and their families. They also provided free tickets to military families and Wounded Warriors through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER). Major Marine Tours was thrilled to partner with these organizations and help Alaska’s youth, Wounded Warriors, and their families embark on a memorable trip to experience Alaska’s spectacular public lands for themselves.

Park Rangers on Chugach Children's Forest Cruise