River Grove, a K-6 elementary school just north of Stillwater, has been awarded a $20,000 Angler and Hunter Recruitment and Retention Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR created this grant program in 2015 to help local groups support Minnesota’s angling and hunting heritage. The program aims to address concerns over declines in hunting and angling participation. The goal is to get more people into the outdoors, which is crucial for the future stewardship of Minnesota’s natural resources. The Angler and Hunter Recruitment and Retention Grant Program works to get more people to hunt or fish through their participation or commitment to these activities. At a minimum, people leave with positive experiences and opinions toward hunting and fishing. Cherry School (PreK-12) in St. Louis County’s “4th and 5th Grade Take a Student Fishing,” Fairmont Community Education and Recreation’s “Fishing with Friends and Family,” Roseville Area High School’s “Young Men’s Outdoor Adventure Club,” and Zumbro Education District’s “Fostering the Foundations of Fishing” are a few of the past recipients.
River Grove’s unique forest campus and community partnerships make the school an ideal vehicle for the DNR’s grant. “With the leadership of the Rivers Are Alive K-12 environmental education program, our students are learning first-hand about the St. Croix River. This is the kind of local heritage focus that the DNR grant allows us to expand,” explained Drew Goodson, School Administrator. “We plan to replenish our fishing equipment for the students and design programs that get the kids outdoors with local resident experts. And, because parent involvement in education is so critical, and so many of our parents are outdoor enthusiasts, we see an added bonus of creating programs that bring school, kids, community, and parents together.”