Paddle Up! Buddy Bison Kids Canoe the Rivers of D.C. and Baltimore

Can you canoe? Our students in the Buddy Bison School Program sure can!  Nine different D.C. and Maryland Buddy Bison Schools took part in this year’s Canoemobile program, a partnership between NPT and Wilderness Inquiry (WI). Our friends from WI drove down from Minnesota with their 24-foot voyageur canoes so we could explore our local waterways.

We started our adventure paddling in Baltimore, MD along the Patapsco River with students from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy and the Mount Washington School. Next, I met with students from Beacon Heights Elementary School, West Education Campus and Neval Thomas Elementary School at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, where we canoed on the Anacostia River! Later in the week, students from Patterson Elementary School paddled along a different section of the Anacostia River, in Washington, DC at Anacostia Park. It was amazing to see how the river changes as you travel along different stretches of its length.

Students from Washington School for Girls and Washington Jesuit Academy launched canoes from the Thompson Boat Center on the Potomac River. This site was very special because we could see some of the monuments on the National Mall from the river! Later in the week, 4th graders from EW Stokes Communtiy Freedom PCS enjoyed a special program from The North Face and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids at the boathouse. I helped hand out their Every Kid in a Park passes so they could visit  any federal public land for free! A radio crew from WTOP came out and covered this wonderful event.

We want to give a big thank you to our partners who helped lead lessons in environmental education on land this week. Park Rangers from the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Izaak Walton League, the D.C. Science Booster Club, and the National Park Conservation Association all came out to teach. Together, they helped us uncover what animals and plants call our watershed home. Whether on land or on the water, the learning and adventure never stops!

A special thanks to our generous sponsors of these schools who made this week of programming possible: The North Face, Clark Construction, DecisionPoint, MCS Incorporated, the Steed Family, the U.S. Forest Service, and The Wyss Foundation.

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