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Wilderness Classroom Organization

4605 Grand Ave

Western Springs, IL 60558 

Contact: Amy Voytilla


North American Odyssey Begins 

On Earth Day, April 22, 2010, Dave Freeman and Amy Voytilla of the Wilderness Classroom Organization will begin an 11,000-mile expedition, traveling across North America by kayak, canoe, and dogsled. The journey begins by kayak on the Pacific Coast studying temperate rainforests and marine life of the Pacific Northwest.  This is just the first in a series of eight online adventures highlighting North America's wildest places. Between April 2010 and March 2013, Wilderness Classroom team members will traverse over 11,000 miles of North America’s lakes, rivers, and coastlines.  Through daily web updates, students will learn alongside the explorers. 

After kayaking 1,400 miles from Seattle, WA to Skagway, AK, the team will progress over the history-studded mountains in the footsteps of the Klondike Gold Rush, to the home of the Inuit along the Arctic Ocean where polar bears roam. From the Arctic Ocean they will dogsled and canoe south through central Canada, kayak across the Great Lakes, then follow the annual whale migration past the salt marshes and sea turtles of the Atlantic Coast, finishing in the mangroves and coral reefs of the Florida Keys. 

Dave and Amy will not be alone on their journey . . . Students, teachers, and learners of all ages will participate daily in the live expedition as photos, videos, and text are posted to via satellite.  Students can communicate with the expedition team through email, online polls, and live chats.  These interactive features give students the power to help make day-to-day decisions for the team and learn about the ecosystems of North America. 

The Wilderness Classroom started with a simple idea: to show students from around the world the wonders of exploration and wilderness travel. Six years and ten expeditions later, the Wilderness Classroom is a 501(c)3 that reaches over 60,000 students around the globe. Their goal has never changed: seeking to instill a lifelong appreciation of wilderness in young people by highlighting the joy of discovery. 

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