Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA)

Discover the Wilderness in Your Backyard!

The Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA) connects thousands of Minnesota youth to the natural world through hands-on outdoor learning experiences in environments that are close to home. The program works with federal, state, and local entities to engage youth in year-round opportunities—addressing the achievement gap, connecting diverse youth to outdoor jobs, scholarships, and careers, and fostering the next generation of environmental stewards.

  • The UWCA offers numerous opportunities for youth, teachers, families, and community groups to experience the outdoors close to home. Since its inception in 2008, the UWCA has served more than 70,000 youth and families in Minnesota.

  • The UWCA Pyramid of Engagement model fosters curiosity and personal growth by engaging youth in a stepwise progression of outdoor experiences. Youth connect with their peers, teachers, the wilderness around them, and job opportunities.

  • Explore lessons and activities to engage your students in place-based learning. The UWCA program offers rich and varied outdoor experiences connected to subject area and adherent to state standards. Learn more through professional development opportunities for educators.

  • Get involved and share the adventure! Through Outdoor Club, youth connect with nature, friends, and mentors through UWCA opportunities from canoeing and camping to internships and scholarships. Start by joining or creating an Outdoor Club at your school.

  • Connect with the people and programs of the UWCA through our blog. Read about current happenings and upcoming opportunities.