What is Wild River Academy?
Wild River Academy takes high school students out to paddle the Minnesota River, stopping along the route to connect with environmental organizations, farmers and community members, and State Parks.
Our mission is to connect students with the land, the water, and themselves through outdoor recreation and community collaboration. Through these wilderness expeditions, we hope our students develop an undying love for Minnesota and a deep appreciation for the Minnesota River.
Know the Land: WRA trips connect young people with community members, environmental organizations, and farmers along the Minnesota River to learn about social and environmental issues along the watershed.
Know the Water: Traveling by canoe builds a relationship between the paddler and the river and allows participants to discover the beauty of their own backyards.
Know Yourself: Participants will make fires, cook food, pitch tents, paddle, and work together to overcome challenges inherent in wilderness expeditions. WRA trips are a way for youth to disconnect from technology and rediscover how to connect with their environment, other people, and themselves.
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