Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Paddling Programs Come to a Close

It was a busy summer for the Rivers Institute and the first for implementing a series of paddles that brought the UD and Dayton communities physically to the river. With the help of a small grant from the Greater Dayton Conservation Fund (GDCF), the Rivers Institute certified staff and students with the American Canoe Association to be official kayak instrustors and bought more equipment to allow us to carry out this new summer programming. Looking back at the summer, not only can we say that we brought over 85 people to the river but we can also say that we helped foster of a sense of pride/place in Dayton as a river city with our participants, while building relationships and community along the way.

(Students & Staff at the Neighborhood School Centers enjoy EastWood MetroPark's Blue Hole)

We started the summer off by inviting groups that we tend to collaborate with throughout the academic year, like Campus Ministry, RecPlex, the Fitz Center and ArtStreet. We then enjoyed the opportunity to work with the BlueSky project by offering river inspiration and team building opportunities to their artists, both professional and student. We then branched out to work with the Dayton Development Coalition, the Neighborhood School Centers of Dayton Public Schools and the Wellness Team for Cleveland Elementary School. By this time, we were ready to wrap things up and invited the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean's Office to join us for the last paddle of the season, as a way to show appreciation for all the hard work and support they provide the Rivers Institute.

(The CAS Dean's Office sets off for their two hour paddle down the Mad River)
(The CAS Dean's Office comes around the bend and paddles towards Downtown Dayton)
(Dick Ferguson races to play in the fountains at RiverScape)

All of the groups enjoyed the chance to see Dayton from a new lens, while learning about our local watershed and developing leadership amongst their respective departments out-of the-office. Our participants were also able to experience what the Rivers Institute is all about, first-hand......And I think it is safe to say, EVERYONE had a great time!

Thanks to everyone who participated in and helped staff the programs. We look forward to taking more groups on the river next summer and hope to see you out there between now and then!
(The CAS Dean's Office rafts up for a group picture at RiverScape)
Feel free to check previous posts to see pictures of the other participating groups.

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