A handmade ornament from a previous U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)

A handmade ornament from a previous U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)

Neighbors briefs

Ornaments sought for 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The Alaska Region of the Forest Service, comprised of the Tongass and Chugach National Forests, is honored to have been selected to provide the 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. In addition to a fantastic tree, 10,000 handmade ornaments are required to decorate the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and the smaller companion trees that will represent Alaska in Washington, D.C.

Help is needed from Alaskans across the state, individually or in groups, to make this happen by creating ornaments that represent the great state of Alaska, its people, its traditions, and its incomparable natural wilderness.

Alaskans are encouraged to express what they love about the state, but the following themes may be used to spur creativity:

• Uniquely Alaska · capture what truly makes Alaska “The Great Land.”

• People — showcase the diversity and rich cultures of people who call Alaska home.

• Places — highlight the iconic landscapes and special places in Alaska.

• Flora & Fauna — feature the diversity of the plants and animals of Alaska.

Outdoors — showcase the multitude of ways Alaskans enjoy their public lands.

• Forest Service Icons — celebrate Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear on his 80th birthday.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree requires 3,500 large ornaments made from lightweight and durable materials. The ornaments should be colorful, reflective, weatherproofed for outdoor display, and 12 inches in height and width.

An additional 6,500 ornaments are needed for the companion trees that will be displayed throughout federal buildings in Washington, D.C. 6,000 light and colorful ornaments measuring 4-6 inches are required, along with an additional 500 measuring 8-10 inches.

In making these ornaments, everyone is encouraged to use natural, recyclable, or repurposed materials as much as possible. Sharp edges or materials that would pose a danger of cutting someone or damaging the wires for lighting the tree should be avoided. Ornaments must not include commercial logos, political affiliations, or be divisive or offensive in any way.

All ornaments must be submitted to the Forest Service no later than Sept. 15, 2024. Ornaments can be dropped off at any Alaska National Forest office or mailed to: 2024 Capitol Christmas Tree Ornaments, 161 East 1st Ave., Door 8, Anchorage, AK 99501.

Once submitted, ornaments cannot be returned.

For more information about ornaments contact Annette Heckart at annette.heckart@usda.gov. The journey of the 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree can be followed at www.uscapitolchristmastree.com.

Comment on Blueprint Downtown area plan at April 23 Planning Commission hearing

The Juneau Planning Commission is holding a special hearing to receive public comments on the final draft Blueprint Downtown area plan on Tuesday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Assembly Chambers.

You can find the draft Blueprint Downtown area plan and other information on the Community Development Department’s Blueprint Downtown Area Plan website.

The public may participate in person or via Zoom webinar. Members of the public are encouraged to send their written comments in advance of the meeting to PC_Comments@juneau.gov.

The deadline to submit written comments is noon on Friday, April 19, 2024.

For Zoom information, visit juneau.org/calendar.

Summer hours at Jensen-Olson Arboretum in effect as of April 3

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum will move to summer hours beginning April 3. The grounds will be open to visitors 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday, and closed to the public Monday and Tuesday.

This year JOA celebrates its 17th year as a free public display garden in Juneau. The highlight of the garden are the many varieties of primroses held in JOA’s Nationally Accredited™ Collection for the genus Primula (primroses), which begin blooming in April and continue through frost.

JOA is located at 23035 Glacier Hwy. The main parking lot is adjacent to the highway, with accessible parking—closer to the gardens—located down the driveway.

For more information, contact Jensen-Olson Arboretum Manager Ginger Hudson at (907) 789-0139 or ginger.hudson@juneau.org.

Volunteers sought for Mendenhall River cleanup on April 6

On Saturday, April 6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Team Rubicon and Capital City Fire/Rescue boat and land crews will clear debris remaining from the August 2023 glacial outburst flood from the Mendenhall River bottom and along the banks. Team Rubicon is currently looking for 12 volunteers to join the cleanup effort.

If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Britni Ryan at Britni.Ryan@teamrubiconusa.org or (303) 489-3075 for more information. Volunteers will ideally have experience in digging and cutting construction and natural debris as well as the ability to carry 25-50 pounds throughout a long work day on the river. Please be aware that site access is difficult with poor footing and demanding work conditions.

After the event, volunteers interested in joining Team Rubicon can speak to the team lead on the ground or reach out to Britni again for any questions you may have. We look forward to serving with you in the field.

For more information about Team Rubicon visit teamrubiconusa.org. For general questions about Mendenhall River flood recovery, please contact tom.mattice@juneau.gov.

Douglas-Dornan Foundation Fund’s 2024 grant application period is open

The Juneau Community Foundation’s Douglas-Dornan Foundation Fund is accepting applications for funding support from April 1 through June 1. This fund awards grants to organizations that benefit and enhance the health, education and welfare of individuals in Southeast Alaska. Since it began, the Douglas-Dornan Foundation Fund has distributed $597,984 to more than 110 different organizations, programs, and individuals.

Examples of possible Foundation financial support include, but are not limited to:

● Charitable organizations, foundations, or other non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, childcare institutions, foster parent programs, and early childhood education programs in Southeast Alaska.

● Funds can be used by eligible organizations for defraying costs for tuition, transportation, or lodging expenses related to employees attending professional conferences, training, or educational programs.

● Events or special services run by eligible organizations that enhance the overall quality of life, such as amateur sports organizations, children’s music, and theater activities, encourage participation through sponsorship of programs and events open to all individuals.

Applications will be evaluated based on the quality of the program being supported or attended, reasonableness and accuracy of a proposed budget, background and experience of the applicant, support from other sources, and appropriateness to the objectives of the fund.

To learn more about this grant opportunity or receive an application form visit www.juneaucf.org or contact Paul Douglas, Advisor, 3014 Foster Ave., Juneau, AK, 99801, or by phone at (907) 209-3706.

Completed applications must be mailed to Paul Douglas and postmarked by June 1, 2024.

50-year reunion for JDHS Class of 1974 scheduled July 26-29

The Juneau-Douglas High School Class of 1974 has announced its 50 Year Reunion which takes place over the weekend of July 26 through 29, 2024. Graduates, friends and family of the class are invited to learn more and sign up for planned events at bit.ly/3TFkSxo.

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