Peaceful paddle program allows people to canoe under moonlight

Standard photo/Wyatt Squires

Lead guide Derek Cox paddles ahead of moonlight canoe participants during the event last Friday at Blue Grass Fish and Wildlife Area.

As the blood moon rose over Warrick County on Friday, canoers took to the lake at Blue Grass Fish and Wildlife Area from the Otter Pit area.

Wesselman Woods hosts Canoe Evansville events at area waterways including Blue Grass with daytime events as well as the chance to canoe under the stars. The events allow participants from a range of skill levels to experience local waterways without spending money on equipment.

Derek Cox, lead guide for Canoe Evansville, said the program provides the canoe and life vest for participants to give people the opportunity to experience wildlife in a way they may not have otherwise.

He said having events at a range of times allows participants the ability to be familiar with different types of wildlife while also having the opportunity to star gaze and learn more about the night sky without the light pollution of the city.

"It gives a lot of people don't have the opportunity to experience wildlife," he said.

Cox said people today are busy and connected to their day-to-day routines and don't often have the chance to step away from the city and into the local environment. But, he said, the outdoors isn't far away and is available for interaction.

"It's a chance to get disconnected in such a connected world," he said. "It's nice to come out and sit and be in the calm water."

Wesselman Woods Program Naturalist Lauri Byers of Boonville also attended the moonlight paddle on Friday and said the event offered an opportunity to experience the beautiful views of Blue Grass under the night sky. She said it was her first time canoeing at night.

"Being in the city you don't always get to see the lights in the sky at night," she said.

Byers said the moonlight paddle is peaceful and opens the mind to senses she was unaware of during the day. She said she is glad the program offers the opportunity for anyone to experience canoeing.

"Not everyone owns a canoe," she said. "It's a great way for anyone to try out an activity that's cheaper and guided. It's an experience you don't get if you just go out on your own."

Canoe Evansville will host several more opportunities for guided canoeing both during the day and at night before the end of the season.

On Aug. 12, the organization will host a meteor shower paddle at Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area.

Then, the final two events of the season will be hosted at Blue Grass with a daytime paddle on Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a moonlight paddle on September 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For information or to sign up visit the Wesselman Woods website at www.wesselmannaturesociety.org.

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