The public is invited to a free outdoor talk about efforts to preserve the Dakota Language and to promote Minnesota River history tourism to be held this Saturday May 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chippewa County Park along the Minnesota River in Wegdahl, Minnesota. Refreshments will be served. Event goers are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and a dish to pass for a community pot luck supper. For more information, contact Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) at 1-877-269-2873 or visit www.cureriver.org
The History Talk around the campfire Saturday night is part of a weekend full of canoe & kayak trips, prairie walks and International exchange. On Friday night May 18th, exchange students from 8 different countries (Sweden, Germany, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Thailand, Switzerland, and Taiwan) will gather at the Wegdahl County Park with their host families for an evening cook out. The public is invited to join the families by pitching their own tents and contributing items to the community grill.
The next morning, May 19, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., DNR Wildlife manager Dave Trauba is organizing a walking tour of the special rock outcrops of the Plover Prairie near Odessa. Anyone interested in the tour is asked to meet by 8 a.m. at the Hwy 75 dam at the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge south of Odessa in northern Lac qui Parle County.
Paddlers from around the state will gather at noon on Saturday, May 19 back at Wegdahl County Park to organize canoe and kayak expeditions on area rivers for Saturday afternoon. Depending on water levels and interest, guided trips will be offered on the Chippewa, the Lac qui Parle, the Pomme de Terre and Minnesota Rivers. A limited number of canoes and kayaks may be available for rent. For more information call the CURE office at 320-269-2984.
After the trips are completed, paddlers will reconvene at the Wegdahl Park for the potluck supper, history talks and campfire sing along. Starting at 6 p.m., Minnesota River photographer Ron Bolduan from New Ulm will talk about the 10 new interpretive panels that have been erected at historic sites along the Minnesota River National Scenic Byway to help tourists learn more about the Dakota/U.S. War of 1862. Teresa Peterson, Executive Director of Dakota Wicohan will also be around the circle to talk about her work to keep the Dakota Language alive. Dakota Wicohan is a non-profit organization based in Morton, Minnesota, which seeks to renew Dakota language and life ways with youth and families.
The event will mark the 21st consecutive year that CURE members have gathered to go canoeing and camping on the third weekend in May.