COLUMBIA – The Missouri River Relief, a nonprofit organization, met with Columbia Public Schools to use their new boat, “Lucia,” for the first time.
The education director for Missouri River Relief, Kristen Schulte, said the boat can seat about 20 adults and roughly 26 fourth-graders.
“Lucia gives participants with different abilities or needs a different type of experience,” Schulte said. “Its easy to step into and move in and out of, so when we have kids with special needs this boat works perfect.”
This organization serves to connect students with the Missouri River through hands-on activities and education events.
Schulte said what the students experience can really only happen at the Missouri river.
“They are physically going out on a boat ride on the Missouri river, physically making a painting of the river, physically going out on a hike,” said Schulte. “All these different things add to building a really meaningful experience.”
Schulte said a lot of the kids have never been on the Missouri river, let alone know where it is.
The U.S Fish and Wildlife service works with the Missouri River Relief to teach the kids about the biology of the wildlife in the water.
The biological science technician, Cody Henderson, said the kids enjoy the fish the most.
“We have live specimen that we caught this morning and we teach them the basic biology of a fish,” Henderson said.
Schulte said the things that they walk away with is what it means to live in Missouri and what it's like to be in a community that's right along side the largest river in North America.
One student, Gabriella Gandara, said she would definitely come again.