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Twenty-nine people boarded a pontoon boat this summer on nine separate trips and toured Racine's "hidden gem," the Root River, from Reefpoint Marina to the Sixth Street Bridge.

They would have traveled further, onto Island Park, but water levels inhibited their passage. We hope that this service again will be offered in the summer of 2020 and the journey into understanding this treasured, urban watershed will be furthered explored.

The inaugural season of recreation/education on the river was made possible in large measure because of Chris Havorak, who donated the use of his vessel and captained the cruises. Tia Ricchio and Kristen Carlson, student tour guides, also played a large role in explaining the ecology of the watershed, the history of how the river shaped Racine's growth, and the planned developments along its banks.

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Individuals representing Greening Greater Racine, Visioning Greater Racine, The Root River Council and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's Root River Environmental Education Community Center likewise figured prominently in planning this project, a process that took more than a year. Thanks also are in order to the organizations that additionally came on board as sponsors and to our guests whose curiosity drove them to explore the Root River.

David Backmann, Mount Pleasant

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