RANGER RESTART: Updates, resources, and FAQs

REC Center

The REC is closed for the season.  See you in 2021!

Saturday and Sunday  |  10am - 4pm

The Root River Environmental Education Community Center (REC) was founded in 2008 as a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and the City of Racine. Serving local residents, families, students, and youth groups, the REC seeks to promote appreciation, positive interaction, and responsible stewardship of the Root River and surrounding land (watershed) by providing residents and visitors with educational and recreational opportunities. In addition to offering kayak and canoe rentals during the summer season, the REC also hosts environmental education workshops for families, private events, and school field trips.


The REC is opened seasonally beginning the first week after Memorial day and ending the last week of September. We schedule private bookings on weekdays and evenings.  Events and equipment rental are weather permitting.


Held in the mornings during the summer, this environmental program is designed for community members ages 9 and up. Sessions cover the basics of kayaking, canoeing, and environmental education topics including rain gardens, and water chemistry. 

Middle school age scientists delve into concepts such as wildlife research, dissection, geology, and microscope discovery in this hands-on week-long camp. This program is run in collaboration with Parkside faculty and staff. 


In the beginning of each school year, the REC, in partnership with Hawthorne Hollow, hosts and educates over 1,500 4th-grade Racine Unified School District students about the Root River watershed.

The REC is a site for annual Make-a-Difference Day activities in late October. Participants assist with trash removal from the Root River and surrounding land, yard maintenance, and winterizing the REC facility. 


If you are interested in planning a special event, please email or call to discuss specific needs, budgets, and reserve dates. 

  • Kayak and canoe tours
  • Invasive species education and removal
  • Volunteer activities
  • Watershed education
  • River animals programs
  • Raingarden workshops
  • Birthday parties
  • School field trips
  • Scouts badge workshops
  • Family outings
  • Summer camps
  • Youth programs
  • Corporate volunteer projects



Individual Pass: $50
Family Pass: $90 with 4 members

Education center:  $25 per hour
Center + equipment:  $75 per hour

  Adults Students
Single Kayaks $10 per hour $8 per hour
Tandem Kayaks $15 per hour $12 per hour
Canoes $15 per hour $12 per hour



Summary of Root Rivers Voyagers 2019
Environmental Education Program Series

Ages:  9 yrs and up  
When:  Saturday 10 - 11:30am  |  June 1-August 24
Cost:  One-time $10 registration fee
Registration:  Sign up at the REC or email rec@uwp.edu
Attendance:  It is not required for every workshop.

Certificates were awarded to participants!

June Voyage: Gardening and Boating
Programs: Gardening and Registration, Watercraft Safety, Canoeing basics, Kayaking basics
July Voyage: Plants, Dirt, and Bugs!
Programs: Invasive species, Entomology, Soil science, River biota
August Voyage: Water Quality and River Animals
Programs: Turtles, Birds, Water pollution, End of season canoe/kayak trip

Environmental Education Manager

Laura Schulz | 262-595-2912 | rec@uwp.edu


The mission of the REC is to provide community members with opportunities to explore the Great Lakes and connected ecosystems through recreation, education, demonstration, and research. 

City of Racine Logo

REC Environmental Center
1301 W 6th St  
Racine, Wisconsin

Racine Community Foundation
University of Wisconsin System Member
The Higher Learning Commission
Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification
UW Vets - Veterans Education & Transition to Success
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