Friends of Pool 9 hosts Mississippi River Adventure Day for Kee and De Soto, WI students

A day of adventure on and along the Mississippi River ... The 65 students from De Soto, WI and Kee Middle Schools gather outside the Genoa National Interpretive Center at the conclusion of morning activities for the Thursday, September 12 Mississippi River Adventure Day hosted by Friends of Pool 9. Students were bused to the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center in Lansing for lunch and an afternoon with more activity and adventure. Submitted photo.

Kayak caravan ... A kayak armada with paddles raised approaches the Village Creek Landing with leader Russ Hagen during the Mississippi River Adventure Day river activity for Lansing and De Soto seventh grade students. Everyone wore a lifejacket and no one tipped over. Submitted photo.

Fish tagging ... Students huddle around the tagging machines in the Sturgeon Building at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery under the watchful eye of Kevin Quillin and Bruce ReVoir. Kee and De Soto students tagged over 1,200 sturgeon throughout the day as part of the Friends of Pool 9 Mississippi River Adventure Day. Submitted photo.

submitted by Friends of Pool 9

Thursday, September 12 turned out to be a great day for students of two schools bordering Pool 9 and the Mississippi River, one of those days that “legends are made of.” As part of that annual Mississippi River Adventure Day hosted by Friends of Pool 9, 65 seventh grade students from Kee and De Soto, WI Middle Schools embraced activities at the Genoa National Interpretive Center, the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center in Lansing, and other outdoor riverside activities at Village Creek Landing in rural Lansing, and they did it all while dodging raindrops and sweltering heat and humidity.

As part of their day of adventure, students tagged 1,200 fingerling sturgeon, studied the Black Hawk War of 1832, learned of mammal and fish habitat, tolerated and squirmed during the snake presentation, learned to stay upright as they kayaked the waters, collected water samples for analysis, and caught some really nice fish (bluegill, bass, perch and northern pike) off the docks at Village Creek.

“This is the kind of ‘hands-on’ learning that really hits home with students,” shared Friends of Pool 9 event organizers. “They got a little wet at times but learned so much more than being in the classroom. Special thanks to the lead teachers from each school, Lisa Welsh at Kee and Andrea Christofferson at De Soto, and their adult support team at the site.”

The Friends of Pool 9 organization also appreciates the administrations of each school district for encouraging this kind of learning, and the school boards that have to approve it. The Friends group also appreciates the efforts of Ross Geerdes and the staff at the Driftless Center and Raena Parsons and the staff at the Interpretive Center. Appreciation also goes out to the Friends of Pool 9 for having volunteers at all the sites, and for actually paying for the lunch for the day’s activities.

“This type of activity is important to the well being of all individuals and in particular to the students of Lansing and De Soto,” Friends of Pool 9 leaders shared. “It gives a sense of realism to the educational process, something not found in textbooks or on computers. And where would one find a better place to learn about the outdoors, than on the Mississippi itself. It makes one proud to be associated with educators of this caliber in these two communities, we’re very lucky to have them here.”

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