THE CREEKNESS STAKES

A VOYAGEuR CANOE RACE

- 2nd annual RACE -
SEPTEMBER 29, 2018

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Get in the boat.

Grab 7 or 8 of your friends, family or co-workers and see who can paddle a huge wooden Voyageur canoe down Trail Creek the fastest at the Creekness Stakes!


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get a team together and race a giant, hand-crafted voyageur wood canoe down beautiful trail creek in michigan city, indiana. compete against other teams for your once-in-a-lifetime chance at winning the inaugural creeky cup!

By participating in this fun and challenging event, you will be establishing secure funding to keep Trail Creek Week available to over 1,000 Michigan City Area Schools students. Trail Creek Week is a unique 5-day, place-based environmental education event hosted by the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership. student Participants in the program attend a full day of interactive stations facilitated by local environmental and education professionals.


RACE REGISTRATION LEVELS

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Full-Boat  |  8-9 paddlers
$1,000

A $1,000 sponsorship level entry gets you a full boat for your company, family or friends. A full voyager canoe can accommodate up to 8 or 9 adult paddlers, giving you full control of your canoe. The perfect size for corporate teams and larger families who are in-sync and gunning to win the Creeky Cup!

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1/2 Boat  |  4 paddlers
$550

Not quite ready for your own boat?  The 1/2 boat-level is perfect for you!  A $550 sponsorship level get entry for up to 4 adult paddlers, or one-half of a canoe. You will share the boat with another 1/2 boat-sponsor (assigned at the event), and you'll share the glory if you go on to win the Creeky Cup!

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individual |  1 paddler
$125

Individuals who are not part of a larger team are welcome too!  Sign on as an individual sponsor at the $125-level and you'll be entered into the event and seated with another team that has room or needs another paddle!

 
 

CANOE RACE EVENT DETAILS

The Creekenss Stakes is a premier community team paddling event on Trail Creek in Michigan City, Indiana. It's a super fun, competitive event for businesses, families, friends and neighbors of LaPorte County.  All race entry fees ("the stakes") are donated to fund the annual Trail Creek Week outdoor education program. Recruit a team and fill a canoe (8-9 paddlers) or a half-canoe (4 paddlers), or sign up as an individual paddler. Open to the public. Prizes and fun guaranteed!

 
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DATE: SATURDAY, SEPT. 29, 2018
WHERE: HANSEN PARK, MICHIGAN CITY (100 E STREET)

RACE DAY schedule:
9:30 AM REGISTRATION
10:00 AM safety talk
10:45 AM race heat no. 1
12:00 PM (noon) race heat no. 2

A third heat will be added at 1:15 pm if enough boats register


REGISTRATION | SPONSORSHIP

$1,000 FULL BOAT   8-9 paddlers -- perfect for corporate teams, large families + groups
$550  HALF BOAT   4 paddlers -- perfect for families, friend groups and small businesses*
$125 INDIVIDUAL   1 paddler -- perfect for you!*

To register (including online payment), follow this link to the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, our event's fiduciary partner:  https://reg.kimbia.com/watershedcreekness

*Half-Boat teams will be paired with another Half-Boat team at the event, and Individual paddlers will be assigned to teams in need of a 9th paddler.  Pre-arrangement with other Half-Boat teams or Individuals may be possible if you contact us ahead of time.

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RIVER RACE COURSE

The Creekness Stakes paddle race course is an exciting 2-Km stretch of Trail Creek that runs through the heart of Michigan City. It begins at Michigan City's Hansen Park (100 E Street, Michigan City), home of Northwest Indiana's first certified ADA-kayak launch. Boats launch from the Sprague Pointe Marina located directly across the street from Hansen Park. The course takes paddlers downstream past public and private marinas, beneath the US-12 and the historic railroad "swing bridge," before turning around and heading back to Hansen Park for the finish line, and all the glory.


The Mayor wants you there!

 
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As a lifelong nature enthusiast and outdoorsman, I understand the connection and bond that our community has with Trail Creek and Lake Michigan. As the Mayor of Michigan city, I fully support the Trail Creek Week program for our MCAS students and ask that you join me with your support... .
— Ron Meer, Mayor, City of Michigan City
 

LOCATION

 

The canoe race event begins and ends at Michigan City's Hansen Park (100 E Street, Michigan City, IN 46360). Event parking and bathroom facilities are located at Hansen Park.

Equipment + Gear

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All essential gear and paddling equipment is included with the registration and will be provided to participating teams at no charge by our event partners Wilderness Inquiry. This includes the canoe paddles, life-safety flotation vests, and the canoe boats. No outside boats are allowed to participate in this event.

RACE DIRECTOR

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The canoe race is being directed by the generous and experienced volunteers of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. Additional essential support is being provided by the staff of Wilderness Inquiry. Volunteers will be on the ground and in the water providing direction and safety support.

 
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TRAIL CREEK WEEK

Trail Creek Week 2017 is the week of September 25-29!

Trail Creek Week is a 5 day, place-based environmental education event hosted by the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership. Programming takes place on the banks of Trail Creek at Michigan City's Hansen Park. Student participants in the program attend interactive learning stations facilitated by local professionals from the Michigan City Sanitary District, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Barker Mansion and Civic Center, the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA), the National Park Service (NPS) and many others.

Each year since 2012, Michigan City has hosted the Wilderness Inquiry "Canoemobile" during Trail Creek Week. This traveling fleet of 24-foot handmade wooden "Voyageur" replica canoes provides the perfect opportunity for students to experience Trail Creek from a perspective not often seen.

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ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

Students are divided into teams and each team visits a series of education stations which cover:

  • water quality and assessment methods
  • historical significance of Trail Creek, Lake Michigan
  • water safety
  • Great Lakes fisheries + stream morphology

These topics examine our local ecosystem and instill in students an awareness of the incredible natural resources in their very own back yards. Students will touch native fish and invasive sea lamprey, change the shape of a stream to see what happens, try on a historic beaver fur hat, identify small critters and learn about their ability to be used as water quality assessment tools.

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CONFIDENCE

The primary learning objective for the program is experiencing the water resources we're educating about up close and personal.Many students arrive at Trail Creek Week never having had the experience of being in a boat or on any local waterways. Some students are naturally apprehensive about getting into the canoes and paddling. With the help of our expert water safety and paddling instructors, the support staff ensure that all students arrive back on shore safely, smiling and proud of their accomplishment.

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TEAM BUILDING

Students learn quickly that unless all 9 passengers in the canoe paddle together and in-sync, the heavy wooden Voyager boat doesn’t move very far. Students learn to work as a team, paddling with each other to reach their goal. Upon returning from their paddle, many groups of students are seen laughing, giving each other high-fives, and making up team paddle songs.


 
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Our students love opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning. Trail Creek Week and Canoemobile get them engaged and active, and give them a deeper understanding of how the science and environmental concepts they are learning in the classroom apply to the world around them.
— Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, Superintdent Michigan City Area Schools
 

 Nicole Messacar, Education Coordinator LaPorte County SWCD (219) 326-6806  nmessacar@laportecounty.org  

Nicole Messacar, Education Coordinator
LaPorte County SWCD
(219) 326-6806
nmessacar@laportecounty.org 

PARTICIPATION & SIGN UPS

Trail Creek Week is a FREE annual experiential education event intended for students of all ages, primary through high school grade levels, living working or playing in LaPorte County. Nicole Messacar of the LaPorte SWCD coordinates scheduling directly with Michigan City Area Schools (MCAS), other area school programs and community groups (e.g. Boys & Girls Club, Scout troops, etc.). If you are a teacher, group director or any other community leader interested in bringing area youth to Trail Creek Week, please contact Nicole Messacar directly at (219) 326-6806 or nmessacar@laportecounty.org  You needn't be directly affiliated with a school program to participate.

If you are an interested parent, urge your local school or community organization to participate in this incredible event!

Trail Creek Week is FREE to participating schools, organizations and students due to the incredible generosity of our key support donors (listed at bottom of this page) and from the funds raised at our annual public paddle race day, The Creekness Stakes. The Creekness Stakes is our public paddling event that caps off Trail Creek Week. It's a really fun way to experience the same river and canoe paddling that the students of Trail Creek Week experience. Sign up for the Creekness Stakes!

NOTE - LIMITED AVAILABILITY: Very few spots remain open for the 2017 Trail Creek Week, limited mostly to after-school hours. Contact us ASAP if you're interested in participating (Sept. 25-29, 2017).
2018 Trail Creek Week: Contact us today about reserving your spot for next year's Trail Creek Week!


Trail Creek Week 2017 is generously funded in part by these sponsors:

 NIPSCO Outdoor Foundation

NIPSCO Outdoor Foundation

 LaPorte County Conservation Trust Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission Michigan City Department of Parks & Recreation

LaPorte County Conservation Trust
Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission
Michigan City Department of Parks & Recreation

 Sam Hook Design Sanitary District of Michigan City Ahsek Media Limited LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District

Sam Hook Design
Sanitary District of Michigan City
Ahsek Media Limited
LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District

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5 days. Environmental Awareness. Confidence. Team Building.

 
 

5 days on the water

Trail Creek Week is a five day, place-based environmental education event hosted by the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership. Participants in the program attend interactive stations facilitated by local professionals from the Michigan City Sanitary District, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Barker Mansion and Civic Center, the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, and many others.

 

WILDERNESS INQUIRY

Each year since 2012, Michigan City has played host to the Wilderness Inquiry Canoemobile during Trail Creek Week. This traveling fleet of 24 foot handmade wooden Voyageur replica canoes provides the perfect opportunity for students to experience Trail Creek from a perspective not often seen.

Our students love opportunities for hands on, experiential learning. Trail Creek Week and Canoemobile get them engaged and active, and give them a deeper understanding of how the science and environmental concepts they are learning in the classroom apply the world around them.
— Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, MCAS Superintendent
 
 
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Questions? Contact Us!

For event inquiries including information about sponsorships, the race course, event schedule, or anything, really, please fill out and submit the form below. Or contact Nicole Messacar of the LaPorte SWCD (info to right).

 
Name *
Name

 

NICOLE MESSACAR

LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District
nmessacar@laportecounty.org
(219) 326-6808