One of the most exciting aspects of the Truckee River Source to (inland) Sea Paddling and Environmental Learning project is the level of engagement we will have with schools along the journey. We are in the process of scheduling in-class room presentations and on-shore field trips with the South Tahoe Middle School in South Lake Tahoe, the North Tahoe Middle School in Tahoe City, the Sierra Environmental Learning School in Truckee, the Archie Clayton Middle School in Reno, and are hoping to include one or two more schools over the next few weeks.
In addition, we are forming a 10 person team of student ambassadors that will join the core team on some of the most interesting legs of the journey, representing multiple schools. The students ambassadors will be asked to challenge themselves both physically and mentally, with full support from the core team. Over the course of 5 or 6 days, the student team will paddle inflatable packrafts and canoes (provided by Alpacka Raft) through meandering class I reaches recently restored by the US Forest Service, California Tahoe conservancy, and the Nature Conservancy, join the local outrigger canoe club in a 12-man double hull paddle along the scenic west shore of Lake Tahoe, and raft and kayak through some fun whitewater sections between Truckee and Reno, including some play boating at the Reno Whitewater Park. They will also have the opportunity to try out some inflatable SUP’s and surf-ski’s (provided by Epic kayaks).
During part of each day they will engage in deep environmental source to sea learning. Source to sea learning involves exploring the many ways a river evolves as one travels from the beginning to the end. This includes how river morphology, water quantity, and water quality changes in response to changes in watershed size, geology, topography, and anthropogenic impacts. Changes in river characteristics then have corresponding impacts on the ecological values of the river, including fisheries and riparian habitat, river based recreation, and water supply for drinking water and irrigated agriculture. The student team will meet local river stewards and learn about efforts to protect the river throughout the watershed. Personally, I am hoping that many of these ambassadors will go on to become key players in our next generation of river advocates and stewards.
And finally the student ambassadors will help Rivers for Change “spread the word” through social media posting of their experience during the event, and preparation of a dynamic post-trip video. Whether you engage in our event through following our Facebook page or joining on one of our guest paddler reaches or on-shore events, I hope you will participate in our journey!
The following are links to other events Rivers For Change will be a part of leading up to the Truckee StS project.
Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival at Squaw Valley – April 22
Reno Whitewater Festival at Wingate Park – May 13, 14