On June 14, 20 Hmong refugee students took a canoe trip down the Mississippi river. The trip began at Brooklyn Park’s River park, and ended at Minneapolis’ Boom island.
Hmong canoeists heading towards downtown Minneapolis
Learning how to paddle
Along the way, they saw bald eagles, heron rookeries, and turtles and snakes.
They made a stopoff at North Mississippi Regional Park, where they learned more about the Mississippi river’s wildlife and ecology.
Passing under the I-694 bridge over the Mississippi river
Most of the Hmong students came to the United States between 2004 and 2006 from Thailand’s Wat Tam Krabok refugee camp. All the Hmong students live in North Minneapolis, and all play soccer for Farview park. Many had never set foot in a boat before.
Canoeing past the XCel power plant in northeast Minneapolis
The students had a great time, and many said they hoped to take more canoe trips and see more of Minnesota’s nature in the future.
The canoe trip was sponsored by the Pohlad Foundation, and guided by Wilderness Inquiry.