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400 District Public and Private Students to Paddle Anacostia River

Friday, November 12, 2010
DOH teams up with local and federal partners to get youth moving.

(Washington, DC) – The DC Department of Health (DOH) has partnered with several other local and federal government agencies to help celebrate Michelle Obama’s “First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign and Anacostia Watershed clean-up initiative.”  The campaign will allow 400 District elementary and middle school students to paddle the Anacostia River in five hand-made Voyageur canoes. The event kicks-off this Saturday, November 13 from 8:30 am - 4 pm and will continue until Thursday, November 18. 

“DOH is excited to partner with other government agencies to present District youth with a chance to get outdoors and become physically active in their own city,” said DOH Director, Pierre Vigilance. “This is an excellent opportunity to provide children with an experience that will not only help encourage healthy lifestyle choices, but also educate them on a very important natural resource in our community.”

The six day campaign is intended to provide youth in urban communities with the opportunity to get outdoors and become active, maintain a healthy life style, learn about the Anacostia River, and educate the students on how they can best protect and preserve the natural resource. By paddling the river, students will discover a new way to experience the city they live in and hopefully create an ongoing interest in becoming physically active in the outdoors. Scheduled paddling sessions on the Anacostia River are being made available to students twice a day throughout the course of the campaign.

DOH’s sponsorship is part of the department’s Live Well DC (LWDC) campaign which encourages people who live, work, play and pray in the District to “move more” and participate in 9 other healthy living tips.  LWDC’s goal is to educate the public, and increase public awareness of the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices to ensure that they live longer, more productive lives.

Students will also be able to participate in service projects, as well as learn about the Anacostia River watershed via staff from National Park Service Rangers, Washington Parks and People, Anacostia Watershed Society, and the US Army Corps of Service Engineers.

Local and Federal Partners:

  • National Park Service (National Capital East)
  • Wilderness Inquiry
  • USDA Forest Service
  • US Army Corp of Engineers
  • Washington Parks and People
  • DC Department of Health
  • Anacostia Watershed Society
  • District of Columbia Public and Charter Schools
  • National Park Trust and its ‘Buddy Bison’ program
  • President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
  • US Department of Health and Human Services

For more information and specific paddling times, please visit: