Community Foundation funds Spartan Angling Class


Nashwauk youth learn the art and science of angling

The Nashwauk Spartan Angling class was awarded over $6,500 through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation for their programming dedicated to the betterment of youth angling in Northeast Minnesota. The goal is to help youth anglers be good stewards of Minnesota’s waters by teaching them the art and science of angling. Graduates have the skills to be lifelong anglers who will be successful on the water, while aware of conservation methods to preserve water for the future.

“In 2019, I received a DNR grant to recruit, retain, and reactivate anglers in Minnesota. My goal for this class is to create lifelong anglers who will help preserve our delicate waterways. My first class had 13 participants from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, and races,” says Luke Adam, Nashwauk-Keewatin High School teacher. “This school year, I have about 35 students who want to take the class, roughly a quarter of the ninth - twelfth grade student body at Nashwauk High School!”

“We know that kids aren’t able to take classes in person right now,” notes Brianna Spry, Program Administrator at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, “but think of the skills these kids have already learned, and how they will be able to use these skills on our lakes and rivers now that the ice has melted. We look forward to more students becoming interested in learning about angling when school gets back in session.”

Creating good environmental stewards

The class covers several topics including: fish identification, habitat, migratory patterns, rules/regulations, slot limits, conservation, stocking, reading gill net surveys, invasive species, shoreline management, clean water preservation, and other topics to create stewards of angling in Minnesota. The website www.spartanangling.com provides several examples of class projects, volunteering, and community partnerships.

The class also adopted a trout stream in Pengilly (Pickerel Creek) and removed garbage and debris and worked with the DNR to stock and manage the waterway. Students have access to a lending library of rods, reels, tackle, locators, and ice shelters to use on their own that was purchased with the grant. Itasca County Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator, Bill Grantges also works with the students.

In addition to gaining aquatic and fishing knowledge, students take fishing trips to local and far away destinations. Last spring, they took a trip to Rainy River and one angler landed a five-foot sturgeon! This created lifelong memories and hooked several anglers on fishing for life.


Funding was provided from the Peter Burich and Gloria Sella Burich Fund, (an endowment provided through Gloria’s will) and the Nashwauk Area Community Fund. If you would like to support programs like Spartan Angling and other programs for students in the Nashwauk-Keewatin school district, consider providing a gift to the Nashwauk Area Community Fund at the Community Foundation. The Nashwauk Area Community Fund is the perfect example of Community Giving to Community. You can donate directly to the Nashwauk Area Community Fund by clicking this link.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has been connecting donors’ charitable intentions to community needs for over 25 years to make our Greater Itasca Area – and the world – a better place to live. We invite you to become part of the good work we do, and to include us in the conversation with your financial or estate planner to answer the question “What good do you want your money to do?” For more information, schedule a visit by calling (218) 999-9100.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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