Mission

What is Wild River Academy?

Wild River Academy is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, MN dedicated to engaging communities in watershed education and outdoor recreation. Here is a run-down of our three main programs:

Educational Canoe Trips:

Wild River Academy provides educational canoe trips for schools and organizations. Trips stop along the route to interact with environmental organizations, community members, farmers, and naturalists. This experiential learning opportunity not only enhances outdoor skills, it exposes participants to the social and natural environment in their watershed, encouraging a sense of peace and place. Partner with us to take your school or organization out on the river!

Paddle Forward Expeditions:

Every fall, Wild River Academy organizes a group of young adults to paddle a major river in the U.S. to engage K-12 students in watershed education through an online interface. This educational model is called Adventure Learning: students learn about a local watershed alongside expeditioners even though they are not physically present on the expedition. Check out our most recent adventure learning expedition down the Mississippi River at www.paddle4ward.com. Our 2014 Paddle Forward Expedition will be on the Illinois River in September.

High School Fellowship Program:

Wild River Academy’s High School Fellowship Program teaches students how to plan their own educational canoe trips. This experience will provides youth with the skills to see their ideas into action and understand all that goes into organizing their own event. Each fellow plans their own canoe trip with the guidance of Wild River Academy’s staff. Students have to market their trip, gain community sponsors, plan their route, plan the food, gear, transportation, etc. and co-lead the trip itself. Fellows meet every Sunday to hear from a guest speaker and execute weekly goals.

Through wilderness expeditions, we hope our students develop an understanding of the complex systems around the world's greatest resource: water. 

Through wilderness expeditions, we hope our students develop an understanding of the complex systems around the world's greatest resource: water. 

Quotes From Wild River Academy Participants

"The fears I had of camping turned out to be the easiest things to do, and the hands-on nature of canoeing, pitching tents, and building campsites was more gratifying than I could have ever imagined." -- Alina Imam

"The last morning I was the first one awake, and I got to watch the sunrise.  It was peaceful being the only one to see it. It was that moment that I really realized how much I love being in nature." -- Annie Heffernan

"The trip was a great way for all of us to work together and push through difficult tasks, learning to trust each other and work together, establishing ourselves as a team." -- Susie Vulpas