The public is invited to step on-board the new Living Lands and Waters (LL&W) education barge from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, 2012. The barge will be tied at the downtown levee in Winona, MN.
This new 150-foot long barge features a handicapped-accessible classroom, which can host up to 60 students at a time, as well as sleeping quarters for an 8-person LL&W crew. “This is a big collaborative effort that will affect so many students nationally. A firsthand look at our rivers will have an impact on these kids for years to come,” says Chad Pregracke, LL&W founder. LL&W plans to begin focusing on high school juniors and seniors. The kids who attend workshops on the floating classroom will learn about topics ranging from the history of our rivers to information on current river environment to what role navigation plays on the river. “We plan to work with teachers to customize workshops to dove-tail with the curriculum they are currently concentrating on, be it ecology, history or economics,” says Pregracke.
The LL&W barge is stopping in Winona on its way from St. Paul, MN to LaCrosse, WI where LL&W is hosting teacher workshops. “We developed these workshops to give teachers a hands-on look at our river environment with lessons they could take back to their students” says Tammy Becker, coordinator of the LL&W’s Educational Workshops.
This floating classroom is possible because of the generous support of five of LL&W’s long-term partners: Ingram Barge Company, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Caterpillar Inc., AEP River Operations and Cargill.
LL&W has been assisting the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Winona District with cleanup projects over the past several years. LL&W was instrumental in the Garvin Brook cleanup, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup and recently with the removal of a squatter camp from an island near Homer, MN.