Take a boat out on the lower St. Croix, hike along its banks, or enjoy the view of rocky cliffs and an eagle soaring overhead,
and you might be inspired to wonder...what created this amazing place?
While the river valley was created by nature, the actions of dedicated community members and civic leaders protected the river we have today, with its breathtaking scenery, fresh clean water, and accessibility for all to enjoy.
Fifty years ago, Congress passed the federal Lower St. Croix Act designating the final 52-mile segment of the river part of the National Wild and Scenic River system. With the upper St. Croix protected four years earlier, this moment in 1972 ensured that the entire St. Croix, from its headwaters in Solon Springs Wisconsin to its confluence with the Mississippi River would be conserved, allowing future generations to visit its waters and banks.
In 2022 as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Lower St. Croix’s protection, it’s a great time to look back at the people and actions that gave us the river we have today—and reaffirm the value of this wonder of nature in our midst.
In the coming months, we will tell a four-part story about the Lower St. Croix River—its natural and cultural history, champions, and protection in 1972 as the final stretch of our cherished Wild and Scenic Riverway.