Teachers on the St. Croix: River workshops provide education, inspiration, and poetry

Educator expeditions help spread knowledge and love of the St. Croix River so teachers can pass it along to students.




2 minute read

In July and August, several teachers from area schools took to the water to learn more about the amazing river in their backyard.

Organized by the St. Croix River Association, the Teachers on the River workshops gives educators the resources they need to help their students in areas ranging from science to history to writing. The program also seeks to build appreciation and interest in the St. Croix River and its watershed.

Ultimately, the teachers are encouraged to either bring students to the river on field trips, or bring river-related lessons into the classroom.

The programs are led by Jaime Souza, SCRA’s River Connections Steward. Other partners included state park and county staff and National Park Service rangers. This year, I attended the workshops and led a St. Croix River Haiku Challenge with the teachers, helping them explore this old, brief form of poetry and how it can be used to observe and record river experiences.

Below are photos of the outings — one paddle from Interstate Park to Osceola Landing and one based out of Kinnickinnic State Park — and the haiku written by the teachers and a few other participants.

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Kits hide in the den
Hunts in the circle of life.
Live beautiful red.

  • Samantha Miller

Splish, splash, splash, slish, SPLASH!
Fish jump and splash with delight
On through the river

  • Samantha Miller

Acorns drop down to the ground.
Yummy to all the squirrels
Crunch, munch, crunch, munch, CRUNCH!

  • Samantha Miller

Small muddy den hole
I wonder who lives there now
Summer river days

  • Patrice Denning

Juvenile eagle
Watching for its prey, it waits
Patiently, quiet

  • Jaime Souza

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birds sweetly singing
the sun is warming my skin
I’m truly at ease

  • Anonymous

movement in the grass
being actively present
stillness can be seen

  • Heidi Aschenbrenna

first time on the water
in a kayak I go
I will be back soon

  • Heidi Aschenbrenna

Float on the surface
Sliding through water, heads dry
Until clouds prickle.

  • Anonymous

Rain, sun, wind, rain, sun.
Constant change of weather
Fast moving water

  • Katie Gralish

Slowly floating south
Beautiful scenery
Over too quickly

  • Anonymous

Eagles nest on high
Beauty all encompassing
Paddle, paddle, float

  • Stacia Johnson

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Out on the St. Croix
Feeling free like the eagle
Preserved by people

  • Dustin Anderson

Keeping it real chill
Fleeting, flowing, and moving
The river is life

  • Britt Bosak

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Broad river, big boats
Wakes rock kayaks near the beach
Calm on the Kinni

  • Greg Seitz

Peacefully flowing
Laughing, stories, memories
Teacher river day

  • Jenna Christensen

Potholes and basalt
Bubbles and some pictographs
And I found an agate!

  • Amy Hafeman

Ancient lava rocks
Youthful teachers learn with joy
Water renews us

  • Dawn Pape

On the root beer river
Flowing between ancient cliffs
Moving like water

  • Jaime Souza (with help from the group)


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If you have any questions, please email greg@stcroix360.com


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Teachers on the St. Croix: River workshops provide education, inspiration, and poetry