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Special stories and places of St. Croix River area need to be identified

Residents of Pierce County are invited to a meeting from 9-noon Saturday, March 3, at the River Falls Public Library, to help identify important stories and special places in the area and the common threads which tie together the St. Croix River region.

The Heritage Initiative is hosting the discussion about the possibility of National Heritage Area designation for the region.

"This is an opportunity for people and communities to imagine new possibilities for our area," said Marty Harding of St. Croix Falls, chairman of the Heritage Initiative Task Force. "The upcoming workshops will ask people to share what they feel make the St. Croix River region special, and how we could work together to make the most of what it has to offer."

There are 49 National Heritage Areas around the United States, though none currently in Minnesota or Wisconsin. National Heritage Areas recognize places that have made important contributions to America's history and culture. They celebrate stories, conserve natural and historic resources, and help promote economic growth through local partnerships.

Don Richards, mayor of River Falls notes: "This project has great potential to aid the entire St. Croix valley region area in tourism benefits, collaboration benefits, and general reputation. It's very exciting."

The Heritage Discovery Workshops began in February and continue throughout 11 counties in the St. Croix watershed in the months ahead are an important phase of the Heritage Initiative.

A task force convened by the St. Croix Valley Foundation has been working for two years on the project. The group held briefings around the region in February and March of 2011 and last summer decided to engage in a feasibility study, which will take place over the next 18 months.

Please R.S.V.P. by Monday, Feb. 27, call 715-386-9490, or send an e-mail to, or online at

A workshop in St. Croix County is scheduled for March 10 at WITC in New Richmond.

Please call or go to if you'd like to be notified of an upcoming workshop in your county.

The Heritage Initiative seeks to explore our communities in the St. Croix River region and their contributions to the American story. The Initiative is facilitated by the St. Croix Valley Foundation and led by a task force of interested citizens from throughout the region.

Contact Jill Shannon at the St. Croix Valley Foundation at 715-386-9490 or

with questions or to schedule a presentation. Learn more at