SF Rec & Park Welcomes Canoemobile to Lake Merced

The national outdoor program returns to increase access to water sports for everyone

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, is pleased to announce the return of the Canoemobile and a collaboration with Mobile Rec on Sunday, April 9. Canoemobile engages more than a thousand area students and people with disabilities in introductory outdoor paddling experiences at Lake Merced. Canoemobile will run programming out of Lake Merced throughout the week.

During its visit, Canoemobile will be working with Rec and Park, SFUSD, the National Park Service and other partners to share adventure experiences and introduce youth and people with developmental disabilities to outdoor skills and opportunities for employment in the outdoor industry. Schools and organizations participating include JP Murphy After School, Janet Pomeroy Center, St. Mary’s After School, and Access SFUSD programs from Lowell High, Wallenberg High, Galileo High, Bay Street, Marshall High, Wallenberg High, and The Arc.

“Wilderness Inquiry’s mission of connecting children to nature is aligned with ours,” said SF Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “I want to thank the entire Canoemobile team for coming out here this week and having such a tremendous impact on our youth, our City and our parks.”

Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile is a fleet of vans each with six, handmade, 24-foot Voyageur canoes, safety and paddle equipment, and a crew of outdoor educators that connect underserved youth and young adults with disabilities to their public lands and waterways. Learn more about Canoemobile here: https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/programs/canoemobile/

“Our programs increase confidence, enhance recognition of personal strengths, and build authentic relationships,” says Greg Lais, Wilderness Inquiry founder and executive director. “We are thrilled to partner with SF Rec and Park to provide experiences for all in urban San Francisco.”

From San Francisco to New York City, communities welcome Canoemobile to serve thousands of youth and adults of all backgrounds and abilities on their local waterways. Canoemobile brings classroom learning outside, engaging youth to improve school performance, cultivating a stewardship ethic, and creating pathways to pursue educational and career opportunities in the outdoors. Led by Wilderness Inquiry, the Canoemobile is a collaboration of federal, state, and local partners connecting urban youth to the natural world through hands-on, outdoor learning in cities across America.

More than 30,000 youth and their families, including 80% from disadvantaged backgrounds participated in more than 300 Canoemobile events in 40 cities in 2016.

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