An Inquiry into
the History of Rivers

Use the following questions as a starting point for your own discovery of the river stories waiting for you in your watershed. 

1) What are "your" watershed's boundaries? 

2) What primary rivers and streams occupy your watershed and where are their sources? 

3) Where are the predominant natural communities in your watershed, i.e., forests, prairies, wetlands, lakes, streams? 

4) What cultural groups (including different Native American tribes) have lived within your watershed since post-glacial times, where have they lived, and what economic activities have sustained them? 

5) In what different ways have the watershed's rivers and lakes been used by people in the past compared to today's uses? 

6) What kinds of land use have taken place historically in the watershed and which natural resources have they relied on? 

7) What impacts have historic land uses and uses of waterways had on the watershed's natural communities? 

8) Which human communities in your watershed have developed along river banks and why have they developed there? 

9) What animal and plant species once native to your watershed have become extinct and what caused their demise?

Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
Phone: 651-523-2480 Fax: 651-523-2987
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