Friends of the Boundary Waters
Friends of the Boundary Waters (Friends) agreed to join in on this trip right from the beginning. I reached out in the summer to see if they would like to collaborate on an expedition project and they had so many ideas!
Friends is in the fight (or race) to keep the Boundary Waters Protected from mining and to keep the whole Lake Superior watershed clean. Even though I have a geology degree and have studied hydrology, my mind is still blown by how water is connected to other waters (seems intuitive, but think about that!). When you are in the BWCA, you may not think that the water you are paddling on or skiing across flows to the big and beautiful Lake Superior. But! The southern lakes and rivers in the BWCA are connected to Lake Superior. For any of you who know me knows that I am madly in love with that big body of water.
The Lake Superior North watershed covers 1,019,923 acres in the Northern Lakes and Forest ecoregion (https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/watersheds/lake-superior-north)
The BWCA holds nearly 2000 lakes
The Quetico (just above the BWCA in Canada) holds 600 lakes that are connected to ours
The BWCA is over 1,098,000 acres in size, it extends nearly 150 miles along the International Boundary adjacent to Voyageurs National Park and Canada’s Quetico and La Verendrye Provincial Parks. (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd611535.pdf)
The BWCA contains over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and over 2,000 designated campsites. (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd611535.pdf)
It is hard to understand watersheds sometimes since we can't see groundwater flow with our eyes. Simply, water runs down and where it is easiest. We share water with our Canadian neighbors to the North and beyond!
This is so more than just about water for me. Friends has a "No Boundaries" program where they go into classrooms to chat about the BWCA and they bring kids into the BWCA to paddle and see what the hype is all about! You can find their site here https://www.friends-bwca.org/outdoor-education/classroom-materials/
It takes about $800 to fully support a kiddo heading out on a No Boundaries trip. It you would like to financially support some kids, you can shoot funds over to emilyontrail on Venmo. (It can be tricky to find, but it is a business account).
The more we sit in nature, the better we understand our role in protecting wild spaces.
This trip is so much more meaningful with Friends of the Boundary Waters on board!