Canoemobile brings outdoors to Eastern York students

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

About 240 fifth-grade students from all of the Eastern York School District elementary schools spent a day learning about the Susquehanna River thanks to a Minnesota-based nonprofit.

Canoemobile Minnesota is a group of educators from Wilderness Inquiry, a 501 (c)(3) organization based out of Minneapolis that travels the country bringing canoe paddling, environmental, cultural and historical education to students.

The staff of Canoemobile teamed up with the National Parks Conservation Association, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the National Park Service and Susquehanna Heritage to give local students the chance to learn about the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Susquehanna River and the wildlife and history of the indigenous people who lived there. 

The event was held at River Park in Columbia, Lancaster County. There the students learned basic canoeing safety and then paddled in custom-made Voyager canoes. Education stations featured a replicated Native American dugout canoe, the flora and fauna of the river and the importance of the Susquehanna River, which supplies 50 percent of the fresh water to the bay.