Each fall, the 4th and 5th grade Otters participate in Big River Journey, an award winning partnership between the Park Service, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the DNR and Friends of the Mississippi River. They first travel to Fort Snelling State Park to learn about Minnesota history and floodplain ecology from the naturalists at Fort Snelling State Park. From there, they board a riverboat at Pike Island bound for downtown St. Paul. On the way they visit learning stations onboard the boat conducted by the BRJ partners. They bird watch with binoculars, examine tiny river creatures under the microscope and other fascinating activities.