STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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Field trip! Detroit youth visit the River Raisin National Battlefield Park

It’s summer, so let's head outside!

This week and next week on State of Opportunity, we're going to explore the great outdoors. We'll start at the Hull's Trace unit of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe. It sits right at the mouth of the Huron River and was a key site in the War of 1812.

The National Park Service and The Youth Connection in Detroit teamed up to bring youth from the city to the national park to experience nature and get a little history lesson while they’re at it. Now through the end of summer, 1,000 Detroit youth will participate in the "Ticket to Float" program, where they'll kayak the Huron River, collect water samples to see how clean the river is, learn about the fur trade, "build" a log road similar to the military road built in the 1800s, which ran from Ohio to Detroit, and play some Native American spirit games. 

This is definitely one of those pieces where you'll want to push the text aside and just listen to the kids splash in the water and debate the merits of fox fur versus beaver fur.

And for all you history buffs out there, here's a quick reminder of what happened at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park:

River Raisin National Battlefield Park preserves, commemorates, and interprets the January 1813 battles of the War of 1812 and their aftermath in Monroe and Wayne counties in southeast Michigan. The Battle resulted in the greatest victory for Tecumseh’s American Indian confederation and the greatest defeat for the U.S. The resulting rally cry “Remember the Raisin” spurred support for the rest of the war.

You can read more about the park's history here.

Jennifer is a reporter with Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and worked as a producer for WFUV in the Bronx.
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