Then, in the afternoon, we'll move down to historic Fort Snelling, for a second private tour, this one guided by David Wiggins, a historian and storyteller with the National Park Service.
On May 4, we'll head downriver to Prairie Island, home to both the Prairie Island Nuclear Energy plant, and the Prairie Island Reservation. to spend the day with herbalist Joe Campbell, who lives on the Prairie Island reservation. Joe is also a leading anti-nuclear activist in the area. Interestingly, Joe's son is an engineer at the nuclear facility. It might be pretty interesting to hear both sides of the nuclear energy issue from within the same family.
On May 5, we will spend the day in Red Wing, MN. We have two live webcasts scheduled for this day, between 11 am and 1 pm. We'll break for lunch, then spend the afternoon exploring Barn Bluff, a beautiful river bluff that towers over Red Wing.
On May 6, the plan is to rent bicycles and take a ride along the Cannon River on the Cannon Valley Trail. The Cannon River is a beautiful little tributary of the Mississippi, and the ride will be spectacular.
On May 7, we will head into an area called the Weaver Bottoms, with naturalist Mike Davis of the MN DNR. Mike has done expensive research in the area, and is one of many who believe the Mississippi is in serious ecological danger. The Weaver Bottoms is a tremendously interesting, and embattled part of the river ecosystem. Here's a background article on it. http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/http_data/hrep_projects/whitewater_river/whitewater_river.html
On May 8, the plan is to take a bluff ecology tour with Dave Palmquist, senior naturalist at the Whitewater State Park in Mionnesota. We'll tour the bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Whitewater River and the Mississippi River. The ecosystems up on the bluffs are dramatically different than what we find on the riverbanks, and it should provide a great contrast to what we've seen in previous days.
On May 9, we're trying to set up a day to talk with some commerical fishermen on the river. Fishing is still an important industry on the Mississippi. We'll collect their stories, and pass them along.
On May 10, we will take a daylong canoe trip on the Root River, from lanesboro to Rushford. The Root River is every bit as beautiful as the Cannon, with long slow floats, a few riffles, and sweet, sweet views. This day depends entirely on how the river behaves, but the tributaries offer the best chance of getting on the water.
On May 11, we end our trip at Dakota, MN, with an end of trip celebration hosted by the Dakota Community School. The kids there have been studying their watershed for months now, and will have so much to share. Expect songs, signs, learning stations, laughter and applause. This will be a very fun day.
for Global Environmental Education