Upcoming “Whitewater Rafting and Nature Lessons” on Prairie Sportsman


Download the photo of host Bret Amundson rafting the Kettle River with Tony Vavricka.

GRANITE FALLS, Minn.Whitewater rafting on the Kettle River, the Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center and critical habitat plaques will be featured on Prairie Sportsman. “Whitewater Rafting and Nature’s Lessons” will air on Pioneer PBS on Sunday May 9 at 7:30 pm. For broadcast dates and times on all PBS stations in Minnesota, visit prairiesportsman.org.

Host Bret Amundson rafts the Kettle River with Tony Vavricka, owner of Hard Water Sports in Sandstone. The river runs through Banning State Park and features scenic rock outcrops, kettles, and rapids, including Mother’s Delight, Dragon’s Tooth, Blueberry Slide and Hell’s Gate. Vavricka runs rafting trips throughout the summer and also offers canoe and kayak rentals, wilderness gear, and guided rock and ice climbing adventures.

In the next segment, Prairie Sportsman is at the Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center which runs environmental education programs, retreats and events for 15,000 annual visitors. The former Northwoods Audubon Center changed its name in 2020 to better reflect its wide range of programs, including three-day residential programs for K-12 students, summer camps, tours of one day and workshops for adults. With accommodation and a dining room for up to 200 people, the center also offers space for weddings, retreats and other events. When schools closed due to COVID-19, the center provided an online learning space and after-school nature programs for students in the area.

In the final segment, we’ll learn more about the Minnesota MNR’s Critical Habitat Tag program. Car owners can purchase one of eight exterior-themed license plates and pay an additional $ 30 fee when renewing license tabs. The funds are matched with private donations and used for land acquisition, habitat restoration and protection of wild species not hunted, which are neither hunted nor fished.

About Prairie Sportsman

Prairie Sportsman celebrates our love of the outdoors for hunting, fishing and recreation, using our vast resources of lakes, rivers, trails and grasslands, and for promoting environmental stewardship.

The Prairie Sportsman team includes Cindy Dorn, producer / writer; Bret Amundson, host / editor; and Dylan Curfman, editor / videographer. The 2021 season is made possible by funding from SafeBasements of Minnesota, Live Wide Open, Western Minnesota Prairie Waters and members of Pioneer PBS.

About Pioneer PBS

Founded in 1966, Pioneer PBS is a premium, a viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing the region’s local stories with the world. For more information visit www.pioneer.org.


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