A New Chapter Begins for the St. Croix River Association

A new chapter begins today for the St. Croix River Association. The nonprofit partner of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is changing its name to become the Wild Rivers Conservancy of the St. Croix and Namekagon.






Nestled between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the St. Croix and Namekagon form the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, 255 miles of clean water flowing through a forested landscape. These wild rivers offer breathtaking beauty as well as numerous recreational opportunities. Visitors are able to camp, hike, take photos and observe wildlife in its natural habitat — or swim, paddle, fish, and more.

Photo: Kate Wright, Wild Rivers Conservancy
Camping on the St. Croix. (Photo: Kate Wright, Wild Rivers Conservancy)
Photo Credit: Craig Blacklock
Autumn along the Namekagon River. (Photo: Craig Blacklock)





The Wild Rivers Conservancy’s new name and mission flows from the changing and diverse needs of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. Watershed-wide efforts to conserve key areas of habitat and protect water quality benefit these rivers and their futures. By taking the lead to engage community members and visitors in stewardship efforts and celebrate the national treasure of this park, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to inspire stewardship that ensures the Riverway continues to be a place of refuge for all, forever.




Our new name also reflects our goals and hopes for the future. Not only will we increase visibility and support for our park and our work, we’ll make the most of resources to protect its rare cultural and natural features. And we’ll cultivate future park champions by creating unique visitor experiences and education opportunities for all ages.”

—Deb Ryun, Executive Director

Photo: Wild Rivers Conservancy Paddle Participant
Executive Director Deb Ryun paddling the Namekagon River (Photo: Conservancy Paddle Participant)
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Park Rangers and Wild Rivers Conservancy staff. (Photo: Sophia Patane, Wild Rivers Conservancy)
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Park Rangers and Wild Rivers Conservancy staff. (Photo: Sophia Patane, Wild Rivers Conservancy)





Together with the National Park Service and others, Wild Rivers Conservancy creates opportunities for people to experience and care for the riverway. This work includes: 

  • Facilitating adventures and outings for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels
  • Educating K-12 students through in-person and online environmental activities
  • Engaging the public on woodland and water conservation efforts and regulations
  • Restoring habitats and mitigating invasive species to help native plants, insects and animals survive and thrive




As the Riverway continues to see a record number of visitors, the Wild Rivers Conservancy is excited to create new opportunities to safely connect people with this wild and scenic river national park and the physical and mental health benefits it offers.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone that helped lay the groundwork for everything we are today. The new brand builds on our rich, 110-year legacy to give the Riverway a stronger voice. Together, we’ll be a strong organization for the Riverway for another 110 years!

Photo Credit: Craig Blacklock
A new day in the Riverway. Photo: Craig Blacklock

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