Monticello to Otsego - July 11, 1998
The 1st annual Mississippi RiverRun was held in conjunction with Monticello's RiverFest Art Fair, and was co-sponsored by the Minnesota DNR and the Monticello Chamber of Commerce. The event was designed to increase recognition for the Mississippi River Management Project, a community-based effort currently underway to revise the 1976 State Wild and Scenic Management Plan for the St. Cloud-Anoka stretch of the Mississippi River.
Against the festive backdrop of Monticello's RiverFest, eight canoes launched from Ellison Park and paddled downstream to Otsego County Park. The canoe run was prefaced by a water safety demonstration featuring conservation officers Traci Hanson and Cathy Larson. Both conservation officers accompanied canoeists downstream in a motor boat. Participants received disposable cameras and a logbook to record their impressions of the Mississippi River. The river was high Saturday and canoeists glided to the take-out point at Otsego County Park in just a few hours.
Along the way, participants took opportunities to linger and admire the lushly vegetated islands, explore backwater channels, observe wildlife, compare notes with neighbors, and go swimming. Cameras, logbooks, and exit interviews were collected from participants as they arrived at Otsego County Park. The information will be available at future community river forums to guide citizens in making decisions about river management issues.
A second RiverRun is being scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 1998 from St. Cloud to Clearwater, the designated "scenic" stretch of the Mississippi River.