Strategic Plan

Wild Rivers Conservancy
Strategic Plan 2020-2023


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

As the nonprofit 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. Advance the partnership between the Wild Rivers Conservancy and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway by nurturing strong staff and board relationships.
  2. Collaborate with the National Park Service and leverage each organization’s strengths and resources to provide programs and opportunities related to invasive species prevention and abatement, natural resource protection, recreation, education and internships.
  3. Be an advocate for the Riverway to ensure it has the adequate resources to perform its core functions and mission.
  4. Establish a joint Community Engagement program with the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Goal C:

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


  1. Provide fun, discovery experiences for people of all abilities and backgrounds on the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.
  2. Promote awareness and responsible public enjoyment of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and other parks in the watershed.
  3. Inspire new audiences to discover, explore and steward the Riverway and its watershed through public engagement and education.
  4. Build on current school partnerships and youth programming to engage the next generation of park visitors, stewards, and advocates.


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


  1. Recognize the challenges posed by a changing climate and adopt proactive strategies to protect and enhance the watershed.
  2. Convene and work with stakeholders to reduce the sediment and nutrients (e.g. phosphorous 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.
  6. Enhance understanding and awareness, especially among local units of government, along the Riverway of the existing special protections for upholding wild and scenic values, especially among local units of government within the Riverway.


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


  1. Update the Wild Rivers Conservancy’s branding and identity, including name and mission statement, to better reflect our work and goals.
  2. Develop a communications strategy that provides relevant and inspiring messages through a variety of media to build a robust and devoted Wild Rivers Conservancy membership.
  3. Expand our individual, and business donor base, as well as our major and legacy gift programs.
  4. Identify and develop additional income and earned revenue opportunities.
  5. Develop a plan to address the infrastructure needed for Wild Rivers Conservancy to conduct business and meet the needs of the Riverway.
  6. Build board and staff capacity through human resources planning and development, including succession planning, diversity, equity and inclusion and retention strategies.