Nearby bears no worry for these noisy Alaska kids

Unlike most other summer schools in Anchorage, Trailside Discovery at the Campbell Creek Science Center doesn't mind if the 140 or so kids who attend its wilderness study programs each day get dirty and make noise. Especially when groups of them head into bear country — a few hundred feet to the north.

Biologists say the south fork of Campbell Creek that borders the science center forms one side of a triangle of land -- primarily located in the adjacent Far North Bicentennial Park 7mdash; that was visited by at least 20 brown bears over the past two summers.

But noise from large groups of kids, ages 4 to 17, helps keep the bears away, says Trailside director Tom Burek. He oversees the camp each summer from his company's leased space inside the science center, located near the entrance of the 730-acre Campbell Tract on the east edge of Anchorage.

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