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The Four Corners region offers a rich tapestry of natural, cultural, historic, and creative opportunities through which to study our world. With FLOW (Fort Lewis on the Water), you’ll take your learning out of the classroom and into the majestic canyons and rivers of the Colorado Plateau.
You wouldn't be reading these words if you weren't thinking about how your group or class could benefit from taking their learning to the river. Once you have the general concept in mind, such as stufying group dynamics in a social psychology class, or exploring the cultural history of the San Juan River valley for an anthropology class, take a look at the following material to sharpen your plans.
Details to consider
When considering where to go on your trip, be sure to read up on the rivers where we’re permitted to familiarize yourself with their specific offerings.
Environmental and cultural protection
The desert rivers of the southwest are part of a beautiful and fragile landscape that requires care during our visit. A moment’s carelessness can have an impact on the environment that will last hundreds of years. In addition, there are many sites and remnants of the land’s ancestral people that deserve special respect.
Every FLOW program begins with the acknowledgement that the land and waters on which we gather are the ancestral lands and territories of Nuchu (Ute), Apache, the Pueblos, Hopi, Zuni, and the Diné Nation. We think it is important to provide this acknowledgment because the narratives of this land and region have long been told from one dominant perspective, without full acknowledgment of the tribes who lived on this land. While visiting cultural sites it is important to stay on established trails, and not to touch or deface petroglyph/pictograph panels or climb on archeological structures. The removal of artifacts such as pottery shards is illegal.
Specialized toilets, kitchen equipment, and fire pans and blankets are provided to minimize our impact on the river corridor. FLOW guides will instruct participants regarding Leave No Trace procedures for food and human waste, fires, camping and hiking.
While many details to consider will be unique to your trip and your group, there are some standard pieces to keep in mind. And they're best not left to assumptions.
Small crafts such as inflatable kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and pack rafts are welcome on most FLOW programs. We have a limited number available to provide, or you are welcome to bring your own. Helmets for are required for small craft on the Rio Chama.
Alcohol and other drugs are prohibited on Fort Lewis College curricular and co-curricular trips. For other trips, participants are welcome to bring alcohol to enjoy in moderation at camp and a cooler will be provided. Other drugs considered illegal by the federal government are strictly prohibited.
Equipment is available for FREE from Outdoor Pursuits located in the Student Life Center. You can get asterisked items a la carte, or if you need fully outfitted ask for the “FLOW Package.”