Kids and salmon. Hot dogs and a parade. What could be better? Trout Unlimited Alaska helped put those pieces together on July 4th in partnership with Discovery Southeast, a Juneau-based outdoor education non-profit that connects elementary-age children with nature, including Southeast Alaska’s Tongass rainforest.
TU and other fishery organizations sponsored a float in Juneau’s Fourth of July parade, created by Discovery Southeast, where children navigated an improvised salmon stream made of fabric and “spawned” in the upper reaches of the stream.
“We had adults holding a fabric river. The kids had a great time ‘swimming’ up the river, grabbing the candy, and then ‘spawning’ by running out to the crowd to distribute the goodies. The kids wore salmon costumes, including t-shirts with sponsors’ names on the back and the fish prints on the front,” said Shawn Eisele, executive director of Discovery Southeast.
“The simple message of kids having fun as salmon running up a river was priceless,” said Eisele.
Discovery Southeast runs summer camps and offers classroom instruction and fields trips throughout the year. It’s been connecting kids to nature for the past 25 years.