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The River Rafting Expedition just completed its 11th year. This program is an environmental studies outdoor classroom, with a hands-on approach to learning about environmental conservation. It was created and designed to promote awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving our local land and watershed.
This year’s program ran four days, with 235 students from four schools participating. Students paddled through Grassy Creek along with volunteer instructors representing 15 organizations. They learned about native and invasive species and performed water quality tests. Once they reached Pie-Eyed Petey’s Marina, a fleet of pontoon volunteers were waiting to transport them to the YMCA Camp Crosley Teen Camp. There, they enjoyed lunch and continued learning about the effects of pollution and run-off; with an emphasis on how they can make a difference.
This excellent program is coordinated by the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District, The Watershed Foundation, and local schools – but is only possible through the combined efforts numerous partner organizations and 50+ volunteers per year. A special “Thanks” to Pie-Eyed Petey’s Marina and YMCA Camp Crosley for the use of their facilities – also to Patona Bay for graciously hosting a volunteer luncheon celebration.
A heartfelt “Thanks” to the pontoon drivers who donate their time and boats each day. We’d like to recognize these outstanding volunteers who have participated since the beginning (11 years): Walt Buroker, Ron Chambers, Becky Hartman, and Richard & Marsha Smith! This year’s crew also included: Larry & Barb Campbell, Linda Dreiman, Natalie Fierek, Jerry & Joy Parcel, George Paton, Holli Roberts, Suzie Schieve, Bob & Linda Schwartz, Jim & Kathy Siegfried, Dave & Joe Swart, Joe Tynan Tom & Judy Van Meter, John & Lorene Wells, Joe Westendorf, and Bob & Diane Wipert,.
Through your on-going support, we hope this worthwhile program continues to promote environmental awareness among our youth for years to come. Thank you.