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Media Advisory: River Semester launch is Sept. 1 at St. Paul’s Harriet Island

Media invited to paddle in flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from Harriet Island to South St. Paul

(MINNEAPOLIS) – A group of nearly 100 students, parents, high school students and members of the Augsburg College community will launch the nation’s first-ever River Semester on Sept. 1 at Kelley’s Landing on Harriet Island in St. Paul by paddling a flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from St. Paul to South St. Paul.

Members of the media are invited to participate in the kickoff event and to paddle in one of 13 voyageur canoes with students and guests to South St. Paul.

Guests and media will be transported back to Kelley’s Landing and Augsburg College.

The 16 students in the Augsburg College River Semester will continue to travel nearly 2,000 of the 2,350-mile-long-Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The group will live and study on the river until mid-December.

Members of the media can reserve paddling spots by noon, Thursday, Aug. 27, by contacting Stephanie Weiss, director of news and media services for Augsburg College at 

Event Details and Photo Opportunities

  • 5 a.m.: Wilderness Inquiry arrives with 13, 24-foot voyageur canoes
  • 5:30 a.m.: Boats arrive at Kelley’s Landing on Harriet Island, St. Paul
  • 5:30 – 6:30 a.m.: Students carry boats to landing, start packing their gear into dry bags
  • 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.: Students load River Semester gear loaded into canoes
  • 7:45 a.m.: River Troubadour Larry Long, Smithsonian/Folkways Recording Artist
  • 7:50 a.m.:  Shuttle of Augsburg attendees arrives from campus
  • 8 – 8:30 a.m.: Formal Program
  • 8:30 a.m.: Special Music – Somos El Barco by River Troubadour Larry Long
  • 8:45 – 9:30 a.m.: Flotilla orientation and safety, distribution of personal flotation devices, load voyageur canoes
  • 9:30 a.m.: Launch!
  • 9:30 a.m. – Noon: Paddle to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Boat Launch in South St. Paul (D23 on list). Directions: I-494/Hardman Ave., N to Verderosa Ave., E and over tracks to site.
  • 1 p.m.: Shuttle back to Harriet Island
  • 2 p.m.: Shuttle back to Augsburg College

Learn more about the River Semester program in “Back-to-school for 16 Augsburg students means traveling the length of Mississippi River as part of nation’s first-ever River Semester.”

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