PIQUA — Students, faculty, staff, and friends of Edison State Community College came together for a two-hour educational canoe trip down the Great Miami River during the inaugural Float, Learn, and Lunch, Sept. 29.
Nearly 30 participants embarked on the river at East Lockington Road and experienced beautiful weather and wildlife along the way.
“We saw wood ducks, mallards, blue herons, kingfishers, turtles, snakes and, of course, the beautiful bald eagle,” said Jeff Lange, executive director of Protecting Our Waterways. “It was wonderful to see first-timers paddle so well and those that have been off the river a while get right back in their groove.”
“I think it helped some people get over their fear of water,” said Edison State student Amy Chupp. “It inspired me to take my kayak down the river.”
“I had a lot of fun and would do it again,” said Leamsi Bermudez, Edison State student.
The float ended at Roadside Park, where Edison State faculty members Vickie Kirk, assistant professor of allied health, and Joshua Scully, assistant professor of chemistry, gave a brief presentation on examining water samples from the Great Miami River and wildlife and environmental characteristics observed during the float.
The event was offered free of charge to participants thanks to funds raised during last summer’s Down the River, Down a Beer Festival and in partnership with the city of Piqua’s River Stewards Program and Protecting Our Water Ways.