Group gathers public input on possible National Heritage Area designationResidents of Douglas County are invited to a workshop May 12 to help identify important stories and special places in the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers region and the common threads that tie our communities together.
Residents of Douglas County are invited to a workshop May 12 to help identify important stories and special places in the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers region and the common threads that tie our communities together. The Heritage Initiative is hosting a discussion about the possibility of National Heritage Area designation for the region.
“Our region has a rich cultural, historic and natural heritage” said Scott Peterson, Friends of the St. Croix Headwaters. “The upcoming workshops will ask people to share what they feel makes the St. Croix and Namekagon 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 Wisconsin or Minnesota. National Heritage Areas recognize places that have made important contributions to America’s history and culture. They are grassroots, community driven efforts to celebrate stories, conserve natural and historic resources, and help promote economic growth through local partnerships.
“Heritage tourism is a big thing with the tourists today; people are going back and looking for their roots” said Peterson. “This is an opportunity for people and communities to explore new economic development opportunities for the area and possible avenues for cooperation a regional basis, building on our historic, cultural and natural heritage. It could be a very positive thing for us.”
The Heritage Discovery Workshops that started in February in Polk County, Wis. and will continue throughout 11 counties in the St. Croix River watershed are an important phase of the Heritage Initiative. A task force convened by the St. Croix Valley Foundation of Hudson, Wis., has been working for two years on the project. The group held briefings around the region in February and March 2011 and last summer decided to engage in a Feasibility Study, which takes place over the next 18 months.
The workshop runs 9 a.m. to noon May 12 at the Solon Springs Community Center, 11523 S Business 53, Solon Springs
R.S.V.P. by Monday, May 7 at (715) 386-9490, email@example.com, or www.stcroixheritage.org/workshops.