This summer, the MWMO is partnering with Urban Boatbuilders and East Side Neighborhood Services on a boat-building project here at our Stormwater Park and Learning Center. Over the course of nine weeks, members of the Mississippi River Green Team and teens from Menlo Park Academy will put in approximately 70 hours of work to build a beautiful skin-on-frame wooden canoe like the one pictured above. In addition to developing new skills in woodworking and boatbuilding, the youth will gain experience with communication, teamwork, problem-solving and goal-setting. They will have the opportunity to work together toward a common goal and connect on a deeper level with local waterways by creating a vehicle with which they can travel on water.
The boat being constructed is a “Wilderness Traveler canoe” — a classic, two-person, 17.5-foot-long wood-frame canoe. To build it, youth are divided into crews that are responsible for different aspects of the construction. While one crew steam-bends ribs, another crew might prepare the longitudinal stringers with a radi-plane, while another crew stays busy laminating ash stems. Once the frame is constructed, it is covered with a waterproof skin. This boat is the most technically challenging boat that Urban Boatbuilders builds with youth, leading to a sense of accomplishment upon completion.
Exhibit dates: June 2018 – September 2018