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    Saint Croix

    National Scenic Riverway WI,MN

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NPS Stillwater Islands 2009

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Date: April 16, 2009
Contact: Jill Medland, 715-483-2284

NPS to Increase Attention to the Stillwater Islands  

The National Park Service (NPS) will launch several initiatives in 2009 on the Stillwater Islands section of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (Riverway). To present them, the NPS is hosting an information session on Thursday, April 30, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stillwater City Hall.       

The 4-mile stretch of the St. Croix River known as the “Stillwater Islands” is located from the Soo Line (Arcola) High Bridge downstream to north Stillwater. The area is known for its scenic cliffs and islands and is a very popular area for motorized boating, day use, and camping. There are also a number of management issues in this area, including rowdy behavior, littering, improper disposal of human waste, and shoreline erosion. The increased attention to the area is in response to public comment on the NPS camping management plan of February 2007 and to suggestions received at public “listening sessions” held in spring 2008. 

The 2009 initiatives include stepped up visitor information, visitor contacts, and attention to the islands. The NPS has developed a new brochure specific to the Stillwater Islands that explains its special regulations. It is available at NPS headquarters in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and at http://www.nps.gov/sacn/planyourvisit/upload/High%20Bridge%20to%20Boomsite.pdf

The NPS will begin forming a volunteer program to assist with visitor contacts, resource management projects, and keeping the islands clean. In addition, a small demonstration project on shoreline restoration will be established on Pillar Island. A webpage for the restoration project can be accessed at http://www.nps.gov/sacn/naturescience/pillar-island-restoration.htm

While new camping regulations are being implemented upstream of the Soo Line High Bridge, all of the Stillwater Islands initiatives are based on existing regulations. No changes to boating or camping regulations are being considered for 2009. “The purpose of these initiatives is to determine whether increased education and enforcement of existing regulations will make a significant difference in the area, as overwhelming suggested by the public,” stated Riverway Superintendent Chris Stein.   

The information session will provide an opportunity to meet with key Riverway staff, including new superintendent Chris Stein, and staff from the resource management, interpretation and education, law enforcement, and maintenance divisions.

StillwaterCity Hall is located at 216 4th  Street North in Stillwater, Minnesota.

For more information about the meeting, please contact Jill Medland, with the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in St. Croix Falls, at 715-483-2284.

For more information about volunteering at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, contact Dale Cox at 715-483-2272 or via email

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968; it is one of a group of eight rivers in the country which first received this recognition. For 252 miles, the St. Croix River and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest. 

Did You Know?

two men with a circular ice saw.  In the background blocks of ice are moving up a ramp into an ice house

Before the invention of refrigerators, people harvested ice from rivers and lakes in the winter and stored the ice, covered in sawdust, in buildings. An ice house, storing ice from the river, once stood near the site of the park headquarters for St. Croix NSR, in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.