Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit providing equitable access to the outdoors through guided tours and educational programs, returns this year with its annual fundraising event, the Great River Race, aimed to support the Canoemobile program which engages youth in STEM-based opportunities in the outdoors and seeks to close the achievement gap faced by so many Minnesota youth. After hosting the 10th annual Great River Race virtually in 2020, this event will be held in person on September 18, 2021.

In partnership with the National Park Service, City of Minneapolis, and City of Saint Paul, this event is a larger installment of Wilderness Inquiry’s mission to integrate people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities into the natural world through shared outdoor adventures. Governor Tim Walz, Mayor Melvin Carter and Mayor Jacob Frey signed a letter of support acknowledging the state’s disparities between students of color and their classmates, compelling sponsorship and participation in the race to close the achievement gap. 

“The race is not just a fun day on the river -- it is a way for the community to come together and literally paddle together for an incredible cause -- connecting youth to exceptional outdoor learning opportunities,” said Julie Edmiston, Wilderness Inquiry’s Associate Executive Director. “I am rejuvenated every year by the event’s positive energy and community support!”

The goal of this year’s race is to raise $100,000 to support Wilderness Inquiry’s programs, like Canoemobile, that provide equitable opportunities in the outdoors for Minnesota youth. 

“Canoemobile’s ‘floating classroom’ supports learning that happens in schools and homes while giving youth the opportunity to explore the classroom of the natural world,” said Willy Tully, Wilderness Inquiry’s Development Director. “The program not only builds connections between youth, families, and teachers – it engages youth in the outdoors as a means to support their healthy mental, physical, and emotional development.” 

More details about the Great River Race can be found at: 

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