Are you looking for a free family friendly activity to enjoy outdoors this weekend? Then look no further than the Hennepin Canal!

Hennepin Hoopla 2017 will be happening on Saturday Aug 12 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. This enjoyable and educational celebration will be happening along the Hennepin Canal in Milan. Activities will be set up on Locks 30, 31 and 32. There is no admission charge.

Whether you are hiking, biking or fishing there will be no shortage of activities. Lock 30 will be hosting a River and Nature Station. Free ice cream will be provided by Vibrant Credit Union. You will have an opportunity to explore the waterways with a River Action water test kit and a scavenger hunt. This station also provides information about and how to earn a Hennepin Hoopla badge.

Lock 31 is the location to go for a Pollinator Station and is also a Nutrition Destination. The Hy-Vee Healthy YOU Mobile will be on-site with free healthy snacks. The UI Extension’s blender bicycle will also be available to mix up some smoothies. Don’t miss out on the hula hoop station, either! You can learn about pollinators and explore the prairie garden with Rock Island Soil and Water and Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists.

Go to lock 32 for The Historic River/Canal Confluence. This is where you can take selfies at the exact point where the Mississippi River, Rock River and Hennepin Canal meet up. You can also explore river lore, mussels and shells with US Fish and Wildlife and explore bugs with Rock Island County’s 4-H’s entomology displays and activities.

The Rt. 67 bridge parking lot area will be set up for young anglers to give fishing a try. Poles and bait will be provided and assistance will be provided by In-Fishermen Club members.

Don’t miss this first time event showcasing Milan and Big Island’s natural treasure!


Tess Abney is a writer and artist from the Quad-Cities who enjoys writing on a variety of topics for