Borrowing from the concept of the original Bookmobile, the Canoemobile is a roving fleet of six, 24′ hand-made Voyageur canoes with a crew of skilled environmental educators. Canoemobile’s mission is to bring environmental literacy to urban youth in cities across America by getting them out to experience their local rivers and waterways.

The centerpiece of Canoemobile is accessible outdoor experiences in urban environments. Students canoe on local rivers and waterways to have fun and learn about water quality, ecosystem restoration, and more from a 24′ Voyageur canoe—a floating classroom that facilitates applied learning in a hands-on manner. In addition to Canoemobile’s experiential programming, local partner organizations facilitate interactive, land-based curriculum and interpretive stations.

The primary goal of the Canoemobile project is to introduce thousands of underserved urban youth to the outdoors, starting with the outdoors that is closest to them–their local waterways and urban parks. In doing this, students are engaged in high quality, place-based environmental education, developing personal connections to rivers, parks, and other natural areas in their communities.

Kid in Washington DC walk the gangway to paddle the Anacostia River in Bladensburg, MD

Another goal of Canoemobile is community engagement from multiple sectors–federal, state, and local governments, NGO’s and school districts. Canoemobile is helping schools meet their education goals and further environmental awareness among inner city youth. It also educates communities on the recreational value and natural beauty of often overlooked urban waterways.


WI staff and Canoemobile under the Brooklyn Bridge

click to view the Canoemobile photo gallery


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