Connecting Urban Youth to Nature

Loving it out on the water, Credit: A.Wendlandt, courtesy Wilderness Inquiry
Loving it out on the water, Credit: A.Wendlandt, courtesy Wilderness Inquiry

Wilderness Inquiry and the Canoemobile

Canoemobile is a national program aimed to meet urban youth where they are, literally and figuratively, with high quality environmental education and outdoor learning experiences in their own backyard. The Canoemobile event catalyzes federal, state, and local governments, school districts, and non-profit service providers to come together to provide high-quality environmental education "where it is least expected"—in locations close to neighborhoods and schools. Local partners continue to provide overnight and multi-day outdoor experiences for urban youth following the event, making routine efforts to incorporate the families of the students into the relationship building process. Canoemobile works to complete the cycle of engagement by establishing an Outdoor Jobs Council made up of members of the community and leaders in public private organizations that provide employment and education in environment and outdoor-related jobs. Coordinated by Wilderness Inquiry, Canoemobile has reached over 7,000 youth in 20 cities including Chicago, Milwaukee, Michigan City, Louisville, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York.

Connect with these urban leaders


Greg Lais, Executive Director, Wilderness Inquiry


Katie Nyberg, Executive Director, Mississippi River Fund

Last updated: February 27, 2015