Tucked behind Main Street in downtown Talkeetna, the Susitna Salmon Center is a great way to learn more about one of Alaska's most important resources, as well as find one-of-a-kind Alaska art.
The Susitna Salmon Center is an educational center focused on salmon and the aquatic ecosystem that is a big part of the Susitna River Drainage. At the center, there are live tanks with several species of fish. On a recent visit, we watched several elementary-school children watch in amazement as the fish swam in the large aquariums. They learned about a salmon's life cycle, the importance of salmon both to the ecosystem and their importance in the Native Alaskan culture.
A small viewing room plays documentary films throughout the day, focusing on aquatic issues facing the Susitna River Drainage. The videos are geared toward adults, but there is also a children's book section, as the center strives to offer educational opportunities to visitors of all ages.
One of the more impressive parts of the center is the amazing art gallery and gift shop in the downstairs of the two-story building. Featuring works of art from Alaskans - many who live in the Talkeetna area - the gallery includes paintings, sculptures and much more, all with an aquatic theme.
The center was founded by Gay and Jeff Davis, who are both biologists with the Aquatic Restoration and Research Institute. The center is a nonprofit and does not charge an admission fee, although donations are highly recommended in order to help fund the center's existence. It is located on First Street, near the softball field near Talkeetna Roadhouse. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can find out more about the Susitna Salmon Center at it's Facebook page.