By Steve Tawa

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dozens of Philadelphia schoolchildren got out on the Schuylkill River today for an up-close lesson on the environment.

Before settling into the 24-foot, eleven-passenger canoes, guides assured them than none had tipped over in 30 years of the program.

Quinn Pinaire of the group “Wilderness Inquiry” saw that the kids were anxious.

“One at a time,” he advised.  “You can use my shoulder to lean on, and you’re going to scoot over all the way to the side.”

He assured them that paddling and being out on the water is easier and more enjoyable than it looks.

During the field trip, Schuylkill Center environmental educator Damien Ruffner told the kids that all of our drinking water comes from the Schuylkill.

“And when we’re done with it, when it goes down the drains, it goes right back into this river,” he added.

Twelve-year-old Danasia of Girard College learned about the water cycle.

“It goes from the clouds and gets evaporated back into the clouds, and it rains back down,” she explained.  “Then it starts all over again.”

Kamhai, also 12, says he was thrilled to hop into a canoe and learn about nature.

“Animals tend to live where clean water is,” he noted.  “They can judge how the water is by what animal lives there.”

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