Rain Doesn’t Hold Community Members Back From Canoe Day
It was a rainy morning for the Mississippi Headwaters Board Canoe Day, but that didn’t stop people from coming out and enjoying the river.
“It’s great to see so many other people out here; the rain isn’t a big deal,” Melissa Osborne, a canoer participating in the event, said. “If you’re going to get wet, you’re going to get wet, so it doesn’t really matter.”
The Mississippi Headwaters Board puts on Canoe Day every year for people to really take in and enjoy what Minnesota has to offer.
“It’s really a social event, but its purpose is to explore the natural values of the Mississippi,” Tim Terrill, the Mississippi Headwaters Board Executive Director, said. “At the end, you get to see the cultural values, because there is a lot of cultural values along the Mississippi.”
The river is something that can get left out with all of Minnesota’s beautiful landmarks.
“A lot of us Minnesotans, when we think of Minnesota, we think of the land of 10,000 lakes,” Terrill said. “But really, if you ask people in other states, the first thing they learn about is it’s the headwaters of the Mississippi River. So, it’s just kind of interesting, and we wanted to explore and get people to understand some of that unique resource that we have here.”
Canoers and kayakers set out from Kiwanis Park, and they head down the mighty Mississippi River, ending at the Crow Wing State Park – an approximately two and a half hour journey.
“We see the river all the time when we drive over it,” Osborne said. “So, it’s kind of fun to see it from being on the river as opposed to looking down onto it. It’s a really pretty way to see the area.”
“It combines a recreational activity with some educational opportunities,” Terrill said.
Members of the DNR educated people on aquatic invasive species and on how to decontaminate your boat or kayak. Then, at the end of the journey, there was a fur trade encampment.
“When you get off the river, you can see how the pioneers did it back in their day,” Terrill said. “Then at the beginning, we kind of put a book end there, where you can learn about water quality.”
The rain didn’t stop people from coming out to Canoe Day, and it sure won’t stop them from preserving their rivers and lakes.
“People just want to preserve their lakes, and that’s a feeling that all Minnesotans are proud of,” Terrill said.
To learn more about canoe day and the Mississippi Headwaters Board, visit their website at mississippiheadwaters.org.