The Trail Creek Watershed Partnership announces the 3rd Annual Creekness Stakes canoe race. The race will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Hansen Park in Michigan City. Teams will race down Trail Creek in giant 24’ wooden Voyageur canoes in pursuit of the coveted “Creeky Cup.” Teams are encouraged to theme their boats and wear costumes to compete for the “Team Spirit Award.” This is a family-friendly event and there will be food, music, raffles and more. Hansen Park features a basketball court, playground, fishing pond and of course Trail Creek!
Participants in this fun and challenging event are helping to secure funding for Trail Creek Week. Trail Creek Week is a unique five-day, place-based education event at Hansen Park that serves over 600 elementary school students. Program participants attend interactive stations facilitated by local environmental and education professionals. Each year since 2012 Michigan City has played host to the Wilderness Inquiry Canoemobile during Trail Creek Week. This traveling fleet of 24’ foot handmade wooden Voyageur replica canoes provides the perfect opportunity for students to experience Trail Creek from a perspective not often seen while applying the knowledge they learned on land.
After assembling in a large group at Hansen Park, students break into stations. These stations teach water quality and assessment methods, Michigan City history and significance of Trail Creek and Lake Michigan, water safety, Great Lakes Fisheries, and steam morphology. These topics examine our local ecosystem and instill in students an awareness of the incredible natural resources in their own back yards. Students will touch native fish, poke invasive sea lamprey, change the shape of a stream to see what happens, learn how to fall out of a kayak safely and wear a beaver fur hat. They will identify small critters and learn about their ability to be used as water quality assessment tools. These experiences and many more await students at Trail Creek Week 2019!
Many students arrive a Hansen Park never having had the experience of being in a boat. They are naturally apprehensive about getting into the canoes and paddling. While many students are nervous, they all arrive back on shore smiling and proud of their accomplishment.
Students learn quickly that unless all 9 passengers paddle together, the heavy wooden boat doesn’t move. Upon returning from their paddle, the kids are high-fiving and making up team paddle songs.