Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Canoe paddlers at Saint Croix
The River Connections Program at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway connects groups to the area and promotes mental, physical and social well-being.

During previous Active Trails programs, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN) and partners successfully offered a variety of land and water activities for a broad spectrum of community groups that live along the Riverway. In the next iteration of this program, the Healthy Parks, Healthy People "Active Trails" initiative focused on the Namekagon River to help visitors experience paddling and the associated recreation and health benefits.

Both established and new partners helped the park:

1. Continue to improve Riverway messages about health and wellness benefits of paddling.

2. Develop and lead health and wellness components of the planned paddles, including sessions on yoga, proper paddling technique, mid-paddle stretching, and hydration and nutrition while on the water. Many of these were specifically designed for a youth audience.

3. Promote the paddle activities through traditional and digital media.

4. Recruit participants.

Building the River Connections Program at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway connected a wide array of groups to the riverway and the outdoors in ways that promote physical, mental, and social well-being. Focused on Ojibwe youth, low-income families, and veterans, the activities included fishing, camping, outdoor cooking, service projects, and more.

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