This article originally appeared in the River Rendezvous newsletter from the International Water Institute. Wilderness Inquiry teamed up with the International Water Institute to bring Canoemobile to the Red River Basin.
In early September, Wilderness Inquiry dispatched a “Canoemobile” unit of 6 staff from their Minneapolis headquarters for a week of paddling in the Red River Basin. Community Paddle Events were scheduled for Crookston, Thief River Falls, East Grand Forks, and Moorhead from September 8-13. The crew hauled a trailer with six 24-foot, 10-passenger Voyageur canoes and plenty of PFDs and paddles for participants to use.
Over 350 people joined us on the water in these communities – many of whom were first time paddlers. A paddle safety talk from Wilderness Inquiry staff helped ease any qualms about paddling and those who attended had a blast. Information about IWI programming and our work in the Red River Basin was made available, and free hot dogs (provided by Red Lake Watershed District) were served at most events.
We greatly appreciate the hard work and energetic, collaborative spirit of the Wilderness Inquiry staff in helping to make it all come together.
We wish to extend a huge thank you to our many partners (listed below) and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for making all of this possible – we hope to do it again soon!
-Andrew Ulven, Monitoring and Education Specialist
Northwest Minnesota Foundation
International Water Institute
Statewide Health Improvement Partnership
East Grand Forks Parks and Recreation
Red Lake River Corridor
Crookston Area Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau
Thief River Falls Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Safe Kids Grand Forks