Our Backyard: Wild & Scenic

We’re all itchin’ to get outside and return to ‘normal’ activities.  Did you know the Twin Cities is a neighbor to one of the 8 rivers originally designated as a ‘National Wild & Scenic River’ by the US Congress?  Thanks to the efforts of Senators Walter Mondale of Minnesota and Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the St. Croix River gained protections from over-development, way back in 1968.  Help scratch that itch for ‘normalness’ with a visit to this special area.

photo credit: Craig Blacklock on stcroix360.com


 With the recent death of Vice President Mondale, those of us who love the St. Croix River were reminded again of his work to protect ‘our’ river, and the thanks we owe him.  A suggestion: visit a state park along the river or rent a canoe and float along, looking at the eagles and herons.  Admire the towering white pine trees and glacial rock formations.  Teach your child or grandchild to fish and enjoy being quiet and observant, outdoors.  Never been on the river before, or visited the St. Croix Valley? Not sure you’ll know what to do or where to go?  You’ll find enjoying the river is so easy, and so good for your mental health, you’ll wonder why you hesitated.

photo credit: dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks


 Full Disclosure Department — we have two hopes with your visit: most importantly, we believe that by inviting visitors to experience the river, you can’t help but fall in love with the natural beauty and uniqueness of the river, coming to understand why the St. Croix is worth protecting.  As a result, we’re certain you’ll become better stewards of this river and other waterways.  It is only through our collective understanding of the fragility of nature and our need to work together, that we can better protect places like the St. Croix River into the future – something Mr. Mondale believed in.

photo credit: Carl Wegener
 Our second goal?  Combine a visit to the St. Croix Valley this summer with an in-person, outside class at Marine Mills Folk School!  Experience the beauty of the area along with the passion and skills of our artist-instructors.  Find a community of learners who share fun and connections while learning or re-connecting to a traditional skill.  Not ready to venture too far from home?  Take an online class and be invigorated by the connections you’ll find.  We hope to see you soon!

cover photo credit: dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks