Celebrating Canoes and Volunteerism on the Mississippi River!

Each year, thousands of volunteers provide vital support for habitat restoration and youth education in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park, and in Saint Paul parks. Together, volunteers protect and improve the Mississippi River by restoring prairies, floodplain forests and woodlands, and connecting youth with our beautiful and historic river environment in the heart of the Twin Cities.

On October 10th, the National Park Service, Mississippi Park Connection, St. Paul Parks and Recreation, and Wild River Academy all came together for celebration of volunteers and parks on the Mississippi River. The day started with a cottonwood tree planting at Harriet Island, followed by a voyageur canoe paddle down the Mississippi River in Wilderness Inquiry’s 24-foot voyageur canoes.

Along the way, volunteers met up with adventurers from Wild River Academy’s Paddle Forward Expedition, who were completing the final three-mile leg of a six week canoe journey down the Minnesota River. One hundred paddlers converged into a huge flotilla the rest of the way to Harriet Island. The day ended with a celebration at the newly improved Kelley’s Landing canoe launch at Harriet Island. Funding for Kelley’s Landing was provided by the Minnesota DNR, REI, and the Mississippi Park Connection.

The Mississippi River is a nationally renowned recreation area and volunteers keep it clean, safe, and introduce new generations to our cities’ greatest treasure. Celebrating the end of the summer season at Kelley’s Landing with volunteers and paddlers was a great way to bring together a diverse audience with the shared goals of healthy, vibrant, and welcoming Mississippi River parks.

About the Partners:
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park, was established in 1988. The park includes 72 miles of the Mississippi River stretching from the cities of Dayton and Ramsey to just south of Hastings.
Mississippi Park Connection is the non-profit partner of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The mission is to strengthen the enduring connection between people and the Mississippi River and build community support for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park.
WildRiver Academy is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, MN dedicated to engaging communities in watershed education through outdoor recreation.

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is an award-winning, nationally accredited organization. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation provides a wealth of facilities, amenities, and activities for participants of all ages and abilities. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is the primary force behind the Great River Passage Master Plan, a citywide initiative created to make Saint Paul more urban, more natural, and more connected.

Wilderness Inquiry’s mission is to connect people from all walks of life to the natural world through shared outdoor adventures.