Excel as a High-Performing Agency

Canoemobile helps connect people to the outdoors

MINNESOTA – October 1, 2018, the Superior National Forest and Eastern Region’s Urban Connections partnered with Wilderness Inquiry, Inc. to bring the Canoemobile program to the Cloquet, Minnesota, school system for the first time.

While half of the one hundred 7th grade students were out on the St. Louis River, learning about it and collecting water samples, other students remained on land rotating through interactive learning presentations by staff from the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and Forest Service. Then the two groups switched places.

The general theme of the day was water quality with a focus on the St. Louis River. At the land-based learning stations, students rated water quality by identifying macro-biotic organisms, learned about wild rice, solved the mystery of the disappearing rice plants and engaged in a hands-on demonstration on the relationship of soil and watershed health. 

Canoemobile engages people in introductory outdoor experiences, enhances learning opportunities, cultivates a stewardship ethic and creates pathways to pursue career opportunities in the outdoors. This program is based around creating a mobile, floating classroom which facilitate hands-on, experiential and applied learning.

Since 2008, the Forest Service and other federal, state and local partners have collaborated with Wilderness Inquiry to bring Canoemobile to schools and communities across the country.

This long-standing partnership enhances Forest Service contributions to the local community and shares knowledge to build stewardship in our youth.

Through an interactive demonstration, students learned how the relevance of the water cycle and watershed system to the health of the St. Louis River; focus of the educational day. Photo courtesy of Cloquet Middle School.

Forest Service employee Teri Heyer leads students through a hands-on demonstration about soil properties, how water moves through different soils and the impact on water quality. Photo courtesy of Cloquet Middle School.