River Learning Journeys

River Learning Journeys are new education programs specifically geared towards fourth graders and Title I schools with the goal of creating emotional and positive connections to national parks and public lands. Covering the seasons, these standards-based programs encompass a year-long journey using different themes, and are led by an experienced River Educator team, along with knowledgeable park rangers, who help to guide student explorations. The programs are made possible with a generous grant from the National Park Foundation.

Contact our Education Specialist, David Kappelhoff, for general information and registration requirements: dkappelhoff@parkconnection.org.


Working River Learning Journey: Students see the working side of the Mississippi River along with geography, history, and engineering aspects of the milling district, St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and the Stone Arch bridge. Students use photography tools, art, and game challenges to connect ideas and re-imagine this historic Minneapolis area. Overall, students will understand how places change over time.

Winter River Learning Journey: Bring your students to our winter wonderland near Crosby Farm Regional Park and Fort Snelling State Park for a snowshoeing/hiking adventure featuring outdoor activities and games in our colder weather climate. Overall, students learn about winter ecology, climate change, adaptation, and snow science.

Living River Learning Journey: Learn about the river’s ecosystem through a three-station rotation on the Jonathan Padelford riverboat near St. Paul’s Harriet Island. Stations feature a Lifecycle of a Fish, an eco-scavenger hunt, and a mussel experience. Overall, students will understand how people are connected to the river and its ecosystem.