Visitors check out the Skagway Inn garden at 7th and Alaska. JB

Start preparing for the Flower and Garden Show Aug. 8-10
The annual Eastern Star Flower and Garden Show will be held Aug. 8-10 at the Arctic Brotherhood Hall.
The show begins at noon that Sunday with the presentation of awards.
Gardeners may bring their flowers and vegetables to the hall between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, or between 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday before the judging begins.
Show hours will be1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
In addition to the numerous prizes given out by the O.E.S., including the coveted Edie Lee Award, the Chamber of Commerce will announce winners of its Business Flower Display Awards. Nominations for those “golden trowel” awards were due July 31.

Watershed Council attacks noxious weed

Community volunteers wielding hoes and pickaxes are helping the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council eliminate the invasive weed White Sweetclover from areas around the airport where it has grown.
Watershed Council Coordinator Amber Bethe said research has shown that White Sweetclover, a member of the pea family, can degrade streamside habitats and negatively affect salmon runs by harming insect populations.
The weed is also associated with several viral diseases, can be difficult to remove from lawns and gardens, and contains coumarin, a substance that is toxic to animals, said Bethe.
Volunteer Joanne Beierly said she discovered the weed growing near the airport early in the year, and became concerned when she saw how much of it there was.
The Watershed Council then got involved after Bethe heard a lecture by a National Park Service expert on noxious plants early in the summer.
Bethe has already organized three weed pulling events in the past few weeks, and she said volunteers will be working on the project all summer.
“We’re not going to stop it today, but hopefully over the next few years we can,” said Bethe.
The first weed pulling event, held July 6, drew nearly 15 volunteers. Since then, volunteers have virtually eliminated the weed from the fence line west of the airport terminal.
But the work has only just begun. In addition to large concentrations on the other side of the terminal, patches of White Sweetclover have been discovered near the school ball field on Alaska Street between 18th and 20th Avenues, said Bethe.
Several methods exist for controlling weeds such as White Sweetclover, including the use of herbicides and weed torches. But Skagway volunteers are using the simplest method: getting down on hands and knees and pulling the plants out of the ground.
Once the weeds have been pulled, they are loaded into plastic garbage bags and taken to the incinerator. The weeds must be burned, rather than simply thrown in the trash, and care must be taken to keep the trash bags free of holes to prevent the spread of seeds, Bethe said. “We want to fix the problem, not make it worse,” she said. – GH