GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of Grand Rapids Public Schools students will step outside their classrooms and learn about the waterways in their city this week.

Canoemobile is back after two years off due to the pandemic. Canoemobile is a program by Minnesota-based Wilderness Inquiry.

“It feels just incredible to bring this back. We had such great momentum before heading into COVID with this really spectacular event,” said David Marquardt, the director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Grand Rapids.

During two sessions, 8th graders will spend time learning about the waterways in the city, water quality and more. They’ll also have an opportunity to paddle nine-passenger canoes on the Grand River, the city said in a release.

“You can see the learning that’s happening. You can see the sparks of imagination and the creativity. The expansion of learning that happens in the classroom. This is something we’ve been working very deliberately and very closely with GRPS on for a number of years to ensure that we’re elevating the opportunities for learning within this community and doing so in close connection with nature through the parks department,” said Marquardt.

The week concludes with Family Paddle Night on Friday, May 20 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Riverside Park. This free event with no registration required is open for families to enjoy each other’s company near or on the water. There will be ten-passenger and single passenger canoes to try out. The event coincides with Food Truck Friday.