Educators and Industry Partner With Minnesota DNR To Get Kids Outdoors This Winter
How do you get kids involved in ice fishing? Teachers from the Battle Lake and Nevis school districts and members of Ice Team, LLC, set out to answer that question at a recent educator workshop at Glendalough State Park sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) MinnAqua Program.
The workshop is part of an on-going Ice Team/MinnAqua education initiative, which involves strong teacher and community involvement. Through the initiative, MinnAqua, the DNR’s angling and aquatic education program, trains teachers and other community leaders to use MinnAqua’s Leader’s Guide, Fishing: Get in the Habitat!, which covers everything from fish habitat and biology to aquatic resources stewardship, fishing and safety. The leaders then bring the lessons and skills to kids by providing classroom instruction, organizing ice-fishing outings, and soliciting support from local groups and volunteers. Ice Team LLC, a marketing organization representing the ice fishing industry, provides on-ice logistics support, including equipment and angling experts.
According to Mike Smith, director of field promotions for Ice Team, last year’s pilot education program in Minnesota schools was an overwhelming success. The group plans to expand the program this winter and in coming years, targeting schools that have already shown an interest in the MinnAqua program.
“This partnership is about more than just fishing – it’s about education, stewardship, and getting kids outdoors and interested in Minnesota’s fishing heritage,” explained MinnAqua Education Specialist Nadine Meyer.
Battle Lake has tentatively scheduled its fifth and sixth grade ice fishing outing for early January. Plans in Nevis are still pending.
For more information on MinnAqua, visit www.mndnr.gov/minnaqua