PADDLE FORWARD is a program of Wild River Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging communities in watershed education and outdoor recreation. 

Paddle Forward is an annual canoe expedition down the river tributaries of the Mississippi Watershed.  The program is primarily focused on three main purposes: 

(1) Work with K-12 schools through our Adventure Learning Model by engaging students throughout the U.S. in our trips

(2) Provide an experiential and unique learning opportunity for college students and recent graduates

(3) Engage with river communities as we paddle to learn about their community.

Through our story, we hope to provided a memorable experience that students can discuss in class, expand their knowledge beyond the classroom walls, and inspire them to embark on their own experiential adventures in the future. Water is one of our most valuable resources -- check out how we explore our nation’s watersheds!


Mailing address

Wild River Academy
2751 Hennepin Ave S #254
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Please direct general questions to:

Interested in summer trips?

Learn more at


Help us design an innovative “adventure learning” curriculum that will help K-12 students learn about the Mississippi River and understand the connections between their communities and the natural world.


We seek to provide students with a unique opportunity to learn alongside a group of paddlers as they explore the land, water and communities along the Mississippi River. Through a collaborative online interface, students will be connected to adventurers as they explore the river and interview a variety of experts to learn about the watershed.

We are looking for teachers willing to meet once per month, for a period of six months, from August 2015 through February 2016 to provide feedback on a user/teacher-friendly interface, curriculum content, video content and outreach strategies. Meetings will last no longer than two hours, and teachers will not be responsible for executing what is discussed in the monthly meetings.

If you are interested in being part of this group, please contact Liz directly at

She would gladly answer any questions or give a brief presentation to any interested teachers to explain more about the program and its goals. We would also appreciate you forwarding this message on to other interested people. 

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Paddle Forward Fellowship

If you're interested in physical challenges paired with intellectual stimulation, problem solving, and education then APPLY for the Paddle Forward Fellowship for this year's upcoming expedition down the Des Monies River. Plan on making friends in a collaborative environment; working together towards common goals. Please download the following documents to review:

Please fill out the form below if you want to apply for the Fellowship. After completing the form, e-mail a relevant RESUME and COVER LETTER to! 

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Support our mission!

Donations provide funding for the Paddle Forward documentary.