Strategic Plan

Wild Rivers Conservancy
Strategic Plan 2023-2025


A thriving watershed, forever accessible, scenic, and wild.


Inspire stewardship to forever ensure the rare ecological integrity of the St. Croix and Namekagon Riverway.

Guiding Principles

As we work with others in the watershed, we will:

  • Recognize that the health of the watershed is critically important to the health of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, comprised of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.
  • Act with thoughtful urgency.
  • Take strategic action, focusing on and achieving measurable results that make a difference.
  • Collaborate with and empower other organizations and individuals instead of working alone.
  • Respect, engage, and leverage the passion of local people in their communities.
  • Conduct our work in a spirit of respect, transparency, and openness.
  • Celebrate natural and cultural diversity within the watershed.

Our Core Functions

Wild Rivers Conservancy of the St. Croix and Namekagon (Conservancy) is the Friends Group for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. We support and complement the National Park Service’s work within the Riverway. The Conservancy is the voice of the river and the only organization with a watershed-wide scope in the St. Croix River basin.

As the non-profit partner for the Riverway, we work with the National Park Service to support Riverway protection and enhancement, and provide opportunities for people to explore and discover the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. We prioritize conservation activities that improve water quality, protect and enhance land, and increase stewardship efforts. The Conservancy is the "go-to" group for addressing issues that affect the St. Croix watershed and this national park.

Goal A:

Engage in an innovative partnership with the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway to support the Park.


1. Invest in the partnership between the Conservancy and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway by nurturing strong staff and board relationships.
2. Actively engage the diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic populace of our region to raise awareness and enjoyment of our national park.
3. Build synergy and consensus with the National Park Service to achieve shared goals by following a jointly created work plan.
4. Advocate for and on behalf of the Riverway to ensure it has adequate resources to perform its core functions and mission.
5. Enhance understanding and awareness of existing special protections for conserving wild and scenic qualities, especially among local units of government along the Riverway.

Goal C:

Provide opportunities for people to discover, explore and steward the Riverway and its watershed.


1. Provide inclusive and equitable discovery experiences for people of all abilities, racially and ethnically diverse and/or low-income backgrounds, and others who face structural or systemic barriers to the use and enjoyment of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.
2. Promote responsible recreation of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and other natural areas in the watershed.
3. Inspire new audiences to learn more about and steward the Riverway and its watershed through public engagement and education events and activities.
4. Expand existing school partnerships and youth programming to engage the next generation of park visitors, stewards, and advocates.
5. Offer meaningful experiences for volunteers to give back and build capacity for land restoration, park maintenance, education programs, outdoor recreation, citizen science monitoring and more for the Riverway.


Protect and enhance the natural resources and ecosystems in the St. Croix River watershed.


1. Promote and adopt proactive ecological resilience strategies to address the challenges posed by a changing climate to protect and enhance the watershed.
2. Convene and work with stakeholders to reduce the sediment and nutrients(e.g., phosphorus and nitrogen) entering the St. Croix River watershed.
3. Support best practices to eliminate or reduce the impacts of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.
4. Promote land use management practices that protect and sustain the natural resources through landowner/user engagement.
5. Identify, protect, and restore key parcels and ecologically significant lands.


Build a sustainable and financially resilient organization that delivers on its mission effectively.


1. Identify and develop additional income and earned revenue opportunities.
2. Expand our individual, major, and business donor base. Create opportunities for people to make Wild Rivers Conservancy a part of their lasting legacy through planned giving.
3. Advance a communications strategy that provides relevant and inspiring messages through a variety of media to build a robust and devoted Conservancy membership and Riverway champions.
4. Provide enrichment opportunities for Board, staff, and volunteers to invest in their personal growth and build a lasting commitment to the organization.
5. Be an inclusive organization that builds systems that actively enable people to be and express whatever identity they authentically claim.
6. Modernize information technology infrastructure to optimize efficiency and maximize security in organizational operations.