Youth Kayaking Program in Full Swing


Members of the Boys and Girls Club in Tarboro kayaked on the Tar River in June.

As summer temperatures soar, people often turn their thoughts to water; water to keep them hydrated and water to play in to keep them cool.  This summer, Sound Rivers is helping kids think about water from a different perspective, and teaching kids the science behind the water around them and where it flows.

This summer, Sound Rivers is hosting its annual youth kayaking program, and leading programs in both the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico Watersheds. Sound Rivers partnered with the Parks and Rec departments in the City of Washington and Kinston to provide ecology and kayaking programs for youth in those areas. Through ecology related activities and kayaking trips, Sound Rivers seeks to connect kids with local natural resources that they probably haven’t visited on their own. They will learn that the river is a place to explore and that it’s an important habitat for dozens of fish, birds and crabs. Kids will also learn about watersheds and things they can do to help keep the rivers clean.


Kids from the City of Washington summer program kayak on Goose Creek

Our Education and Outreach Coordinator, Liz Houde has worked with hundreds of youth and has noticed that many who live just miles away from the Neuse or Tar-Pamlico Rivers have often never visited the banks of these waterways. She said, “We hope by exposing kids to the natural world around them, they are more likely to visit and appreciate the river in the future.”

With our summer youth programs, Sound Rivers seeks to educate youth about the natural resources in their hometowns as well as to encourage a more active lifestyle and further pursuit of recreation activities on the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. By combining environmental education with kayaking trips, the kids will gain skills and build confidence on the water, while learning more about natural resources in this area. Sound Rivers has partnered with the Neuseway Nature Center, Parks and Rec in Washington, 4H groups, Boys and Girls Club groups and will host 14 youth trips in 5 different counties throughout the summer.