On Thursday, July 26, Isak Kvam, CURE's summer intern, led his last Immersions with Isak canoe and kayak outing. This summer program has been popular with CURE members. “It was met with large success by the community as he led residents onto local rivers for canoe/kayak trips every Thursday,” stated the CURE weekly newsletter.
Kvam, a Granite Falls native, began his internship with CURE in the middle of May. Serving as Paddling Intern for these three months, his primary task has been to lead river events like the one on July 26.
In addition to leading these canoe and kayak expeditions, Kvam has coordinated canoe and kayak check outs, which are free to CURE members. He is also employing his hometown connection as he and the CURE staff work to expand their Granite Falls presence from their newly-opened office in the K.K. Berge building.
Kvam has also participated in other duties related to CURE's overall mission – to restore, celebrate and protect the Upper Minnesota River Watershed. “Isak worked alongside DNR Fisheries Biologist Chris Domeier several days in July during the Chippewa River Dam Removal as well as attending electro fishing (to count fish species' populations and size) and surveying projects,” CURE wrote in their newsletter.
During these final weeks of his experience, he is spending some time on the computer as well as outdoors. “I am trying to put a lot of our information on-line,” Kvam said. At the CURE River Guide web page, he has posted calendars, canoe and kayak lending details, river information and photos. Presently he is creating a photo inventory of all canoes and kayaks so people can choose the specific boat they want to use from the website.
Kvam is studying environmental studies at Luther College. In this program, he can choose either an environmental policy or environmental science emphasis, but he is opting for both. “Working with CURE is closely related to both,” he said. He has also made connections with a variety of people in the environmental field while with CURE.
Because he is from Granite Falls, the experience with CURE was his first choice for an internship. “I really wanted to come home for the summer,” he said. This pairing has been a good one for CURE, too, as they work to expand the partnership between Montevideo and Granite Falls. They want to get more Granite Falls people involved as well and put in a new portage system there.
Kvam has had a favorite part of his job: “Getting to lead river trip.” He certainly has had the opportunity with CURE this summer. Having taken nearly 260 people out with Immersions with Isak and other tours, he has helped connect more area people with the river.