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Kids in Kayaks with Hilton Head Prep and River Ridge Academy

Each October for the past 3 years The Outside Foundation has had the pleasure of hosting teacher Paula Whitaker and her seventh grade students from River Ridge Academy in Bluffton, South Carolina. This past week over 100 students had an opportunity to go kayaking and experience "hands on" learning about the abundant forms of life that call the tidal creeks and salt marshes of the May River home. What fun we had! The "Kids in Kayaks" program could not happen without support from the staff at Outside Hilton Head and Outside Palmetto Bluff. Thank you Erik Jo, Mike Overton, Boo Harrell, Jessie Westmark and guides Darci Everett, Anneliza Itkor, Alexa Broadbent, Taylor Johnson, and Dan Szczecinski. Thank you to all the remarkable naturalists from The LowCountry Master Naturalists Association, Debby and Pam from the Beaufort Conservation District, Beth Lewis from the Town of Bluffton Stormwater Authority, and all the volunteers who supervised and provided instruction at the dockside learning stations. We are most grateful for the tremendous support from all the "Friends" of The Outside Foundation in our community. Thank you so much for all the donations in support of the "Kids in Kayaks" program. Thank you to Columbia Sportswear for your most generous grant support for this program - money from this grant directly scholarships those students whose families cannot afford the program cost. Wonderful! The vast majority of these students have never put on a life jacket, held a paddle nor hopped into a kayak. The "Kids in Kayaks' program allows these children to directly connect to the remarkable ecosystem they call home. We hope this day creates memories and a lasting connection to the May River and our local environment. Overheard by one guide: "Best day ever!"

We had a super fun day hosting seventh graders from Hilton Head Preparatory School. We explored the salt marshes of the Broad Creek by kayak and spotted some dolphin. Dockside, the students analyzed water samples, explored the sessile community of organisms under the float docks, caught both a blue and stone crab, and tested various stormwater issues with the Envrioscape Watershed model. It was a great day for getting #outside! Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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