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River Relief

Education Programs

Education: River Relief Style

Book your Education Program Today!


Discover the Missouri River through experiential, place-based educational programming that connects students from across the state to the Missouri River. 

Our goal is to engage your students’ innate sense of wonder and curiosity to explore the natural and cultural history of the Missouri River. Our menu of presentations and field trip options can be found below. We also invite you to collaborate with our experienced staff to develop a day or half-day presentation or field trip that meets your needs, interests, and objectives. 

Missouri River Relief: Presentations 

Complement your classroom lesson or monthly meeting by requesting a presentation! 


Menu of Presentations

We teach a wide variety of subjects at Missouri River Relief. As part of most presentations, Missouri River Relief will facilitate a hands-on activity and provide all of the needed materials.  When you book your presentation you will have the opportunity to select from the following list: 

Missouri River Relief: Connect, Care, Act 

  • What inspires a group of people to clean-up the Missouri River and dedicate their life to connecting people to this cultural and natural treasure? In this presentation, participants will learn about why Missouri River Relief cares about cleaning up the Missouri River and how you can jump aboard and join our dedicated crew at the next Missouri River Clean-Up near you.

The Incredible Missouri River (cultural and natural history)

  • In this presentation, participants will build their knowledge and understanding of the Missouri River while learning about the ecology and history of the Missouri River through experiential and place-based activities. 

Missouri River Recycle Relay (education booth)

  • Would you like Missouri River Relief to engage youth in an awesome stewardship activity during your event or festival? Then the recycle relay is just what you’re looking for! This presentation highlights unique river trash treasures and the impacts of litter on a river ecosystem while challenging youth to get active, work together and properly recycle.

You Live in the Missouri River Watershed 

  • Connect to the Missouri River and its watershed. Discover the secrets of hydrology, sing the watershed song, map your watershed, pretend you own river property and create a development plan, and last but not least explore how litter travels and affects river habitat for fish and other critters. Then act. You are invited to participate in a river clean-up in your sub-watershed. 

Customize Your Own Presentation 

Customize your program to maximize connections to your student's learning. Choose from suggested activities or propose something new!

  • Create a Food Web of Missouri River organisms.  Then use new information that puts a twist on our concepts of food webs to create a model that better explains the conditions found in the river.
  • How does Jefferson City and Kansas City purify river water for its citizens?  We will purify river water in a similar way and discuss the chemistry involved.

If you customize your own presentation, you will be asked on the presentation request form to describe what you are looking for in the presentation. 

Booking Your Presentation  

Complete our Off-the-River Presentation Request form to get your presentation booked. Once we receive your request, we will contact you to confirm your presentation. 


Missouri River Relief: Field Trips 

Bring your participants to one of nature’s most incredible classrooms—the Missouri River!

Our programs focus on the practices of science and align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students actively participate in activities by making observations, asking questions, and constructing explanations about what they find. Through hands-on experiences, our programs seek to engage participants’ innate sense of wonder and natural curiosity to explore the Missouri River, fostering a deeper connection and sense of responsibility to its care and stewardship. We can accommodate kindergarten through college.  

Trips are focused in central Missouri and we can accommodate between 30-250 students per day.  We also offer teacher professional development opportunities, as either a one day trip or two-day training. 

Menu of Field Trip Programs 

Our field trips provide a wide variety of opportunities for participants to engage with the Missouri River. All field trips include a motorboat experience. Field trips are categorized under four different tracks, depending on the primary goal of the field trip and group size. 

Investigating the Missouri River (Science - Medium Groups: 30 to 60 participants per day)

  • Experience science Missouri River Relief style! Leave your lab coats and pocket protectors behind. Participants investigate the mysteries behind the longest river in North America and learn what makes it tick. The cottonwood forests and the river will be the laboratory. Participants might get the chance to get up-close and personal with the fish that call the Missouri River home, go on a hike through a Missouri River bottomland forest, create a watercolor sketch while exploring the journals of Lewis & Clark  and go for a one-of-a-kind learning experience that incorporates a motorboat ride where participants will learn about the channelization of the river from knowledgeable staff.

Stewardship on the Missouri River (Service Learning- Medium Groups: 30 to 60 participants per day)

  • Students divide into stewardship teams to learn through laughter, challenge, and making a difference on the Missouri River. They will spend half of their time developing teamwork skills through a variety of fun challenges and half of their time working together in service to the Missouri River.  This service involves digging tires out of the muddy, picking up dozens of plastic bottles and finding unique river trash.  Through these activities, the student will get to know one another, the Missouri River, and themselves much better. 

Missouri River Days (Science - Large Groups: 125 to 250 participants per day)

  • Missouri River Relief created the Missouri River Days program because every student should be afforded the opportunity to connect with  the Missouri River. This is a one of a kind on-the-river learning experience. This program is similar to “Investigating the Missouri River” but it allows for the possibility of a large group or grade level to visit the Missouri River.

Missouri River Excursions (Experiential—Small Groups: 30 or fewer participants per day) 

  • All aboard! Discover the cultural and natural wonders of the Missouri River. This is your chance to be a river explorer!  Our custom excursions near Columbia incorporate spectacular views of limestone bluffs, Bald Eagles' nests, and prehistoric artwork, as well as insider’s knowledge about the river imparted by our organization. Every moment brings a new experience and fosters a deeper understanding for our beloved Missouri River. 

Build your Perfect Program

Customize your program to maximize connections to your student's learning. Choose from suggested activities or propose something new!

  • Unlock the mysteries of the Missouri River through a guided canoe trip on the river. 
  • Develop the skills and habits of a scientist through student-directed field research projects.
  • Practice teamwork, communication, and self-awareness through team building activities. 

If you customize your own program, you will be asked on the Field Trip Request Form to describe what you are looking for on the field trip. 


Field Trip Logistics

Our Field Trip Education Program Locations

Field trips are based on the Missouri River and are focused on the central Missouri area. We operate out of four area boat ramps. When determining which location please research the distance and travel time from your location. Our central Missouri boat ramps include:  

Cost of a Field Trip Program

Once we receive your request, we will contact you with a program proposal that includes a breakdown of the field trip cost. Examples of costs associated with programs include motorboat usage and operators, program coordination, materials, lunch for volunteers and a port-a-potty rental. This program proposal will not include bus transportation or participant lunches.

Funding your Field Trip

As a non-profit organization, we understand that not every school or organization has the funds to cover the program cost. Missouri River Relief has limited funds available for financial aid and we aim to share this resource with as many schools or organizations as possible. We ask that schools or organizations contribute to their ability and seek additional funding from other sources.

Booking Your Field Trip

 Follow the instructions below to get your field trip booked and to get your students prepared for an unforgettable educational experience:

1.) Please read our Missouri River Education Field Trip Policies to learn more about our programs.  

2.) Please fill out our online Field Trip Request Form. Once we receive your request, we will contact you. 

3.) Program Proposal Once we receive your request, we will contact you with a program proposal that includes a breakdown of the field trip cost, program overview, schedule, etc. Once you receive this proposal we ask that you seek approval from administration and/or supervisor. 

4.) Program Deposit Once the date, time, and program fee are agreed upon a Missouri River Relief staff member will send you a confirmation agreement and invoice for the program deposit. There is a $100 program deposit required to hold your date/time. Deposits are non-refundable (except in emergencies or cancellations by MRR staff) and go towards your total program fee. You will have ten business days to pay the program deposit or your date/time will be freed up for other groups. To pay the $100 program deposit, there are two options: 

  • Mail a check to “Missouri River Relief” at  P.O. Box 463 Columbia, MO 65205. 
  • Submit a "Purchase Order Number" via email to 

5.) Follow Up You will receive an e-mail with details about how to prepare for your trip, risk release forms and driving directions about three weeks before your field trip is scheduled. 

6.) Invoicing & Payment On the day of your field trip, we will create an invoice for you and the balance will reflect a deduction of your deposit. We require payment in full within 10 business days after you attend your field trip date. Please mail your final payment check to the “Missouri River Relief” at  P.O. Box 463 Columbia, MO 65205. 

7.) Field Trip FAQ's for Adults & Kids Hopefully you can find the answer to some of your questions in this document: Field Trip FAQ's!


If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Schulte at 573-443-0292. If you are interested in volunteering for one of our public Missouri River Clean-Ups, please contact our Operations Manager, Kevin Tosie, at or call (573) 442-0292 to begin the registration process.

I would do the same trip again tomorrow if we could! I also don't want to over-emphasize "connecting with the curriculum" at the expense of taking the time to just listen -- this is a life skill that is probably more important than anything else, and this field trip was more effective at inviting and making opportunities for that than any other I have participated in.”  

-John Dittilo, City Garden Montessori School teacher 

 Hope to see you on the river! is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
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