For the third year, the Canoemobile made its way to Michigan City to paddle on Trail Creek, at the foot of Lake Michigan. It was an incredible week of paddling and learning about the local watershed with over 600 youth. From Adopt a Beach and river cleanups to kayak safety and fur trade history, the week was jam-packed with exciting opportunities for youth and community members to become involved with their rivers, lakes, and watershed.
During the week, students from various schools participated in several activities including canoeing with Wilderness Inquiry, learning about Lake Michigan’s food web with the DNR, seeing into the history of the fur trade era with NPS, and practicing kayak technique and safety with the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. These experiential learning opportunities let students have a break from the typical classroom and immerse themselves in the nature that surrounds them, guided by outdoor professionals teeming with knowledge. One fourth-grader was so eager to wake up to his 7:15 AM alarm on the morning of this experience, however, his eyes shot wide open at 6:51 AM, ready and excited to start the day! Some students were a bit uncertain about canoeing and being out on the water, but after a few minutes of paddling their nerves were appeased, and the boat groups came back to land with smiles!
We would like to give a special thanks to all of our partners in Michigan City who made this incredible week happen for local youth: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, La Porte County Soil and Water Conservation District, Urban Waters, Izaak Walton League, Michigan City Sanitary District, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Dunes Learning Center, National Park Service, Michigan City Parks, and Northwest Indiana Paddling Association.