Where rivers meet, groups join forces to preserve area

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 11, 2012 - 10:13 AM

Project links cities, agencies at St. Croix-Mississsippi confluence.

hide

The view from the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center in Prescott, Wis., where the St. Croix and the Mississippi rivers come together.

Photo: Joel Koyama, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It's best viewed from high atop the blustery crown of a bluff: the pristine blue of the St. Croix River melding with the brownish expanse of the Mississippi on its way south to New Orleans, a vibrant junction of soaring eagles, determined towboats and stunning scenery.

The confluence of the two rivers has been attracting people since draining glaciers created it as they carved their way through 10 millennia ago. Making sure it stays an attractive region is one goal of the Great Rivers Confluence Project.

The project -- it's not a formal organization -- is an effort to link agencies and organizations along all banks that share an interest in the two rivers, said Margaret Smith, executive director of the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center in Prescott, Wis.

The project will play host to a symposium Friday, when its website with an interactive map of the region will be launched. It also will include a comprehensive regional calendar of events for visitors.

The project does not attempt to duplicate work already being done, Smith said, but to get parties to look at the region surrounding the confluence -- bound by the cities of Afton and Hastings in Minnesota and Prescott and River Falls in Wisconsin -- in a more holistic way.

"Towns are really not used to looking at this region together," Smith said.

The confluence area includes not only two national parks -- the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway -- but also the Great River Road, one of the nation's great scenic routes; the Mississippi River Trail for bikes; the National Scenic Byway and the Audubon Great River Birding Trail, along with state and regional parks.

The effort is complicated because the region straddles two states and includes four cities, four counties and government agencies from local to federal levels. The one thing held in common is an interest in protecting and making the most of a valuable natural asset.

Peter Mott, Washington County's parks manager for planning, said the project has been valuable in the early stages of planning two trails, one from the confluence north to Afton and another linking Prescott and Hastings on an abandoned rail line.

An immediate goal of the project is to rally support to complete missing links in the region's trail systems.

"The coordination and cooperation between neighbors from different states for projects like this is surprisingly challenging," said Mott.

Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039

  • related content

  • Great rivers confluence symposium

    Sunday October 7, 2012

    What: Presentations by mayors of River Falls, Prescott, Hastings and Afton, launching of website and bus tour of region.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 31 2nd Qtr 9:03
Golden State 37
Washington 26 2nd Qtr 8:21
LA Lakers 42
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 3rd Prd 7:22
Calgary 2
Minnesota 1 3rd Prd
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 14:52
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 2nd Half 1:03
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 40 2nd Half 14:44
Nevada 39
SD Christian 39 2nd Half 12:06
CS-Bakersfield 54
Colorado State 5 1st Half 15:05
Boise State 11
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close