Stillwater Islands Listening Session
Contact: Jill Medland, 715-483-2284
NPS to Host Listening Session about the Stillwater Islands
The National Park Service (NPS) will hold a listening session on Wednesday, December 2, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stillwater City Hall. During the summer of 2009, the NPS launched several initiatives to provide increased attention to the Stillwater Islands section of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The purpose of the listening session is to describe the initiatives and get feedback from the public about their effectiveness.
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 2009 initiatives were in response to public comment on the NPS camping management plan of February 2007 and to suggestions received at public “listening sessions” held in the spring of 2008.
The 2009 initiatives included increased visitor information, visitor contacts, and attention to the islands. The NPS published a new brochure that explains the special regulations in the Stillwater Islands area. Park staff established a volunteer program to assist with visitor contacts, resource management projects, and keeping the islands clean. Volunteers were also instrumental in two shoreline restoration projects on Pillar and Mile Long Islands by planting and watering native plant plugs throughout the dry summer, resulting in a 90% survival rate.
All of the summer 2009 initiatives in the Stillwater Islands were based on existing regulations. The listening session will provide an opportunity to meet with Riverway personnel, including staff from the resource management, interpretation and education, maintenance, and law enforcement divisions. “We are anxious to hear whether the public felt the initiatives made a significant difference in the Stillwater Islands in 2009,” stated Riverway Superintendent Chris Stein.
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.
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?
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is home to 40 species of native mussels. Throughout the United States their populations are considered highly threatened. The Higgins Eye Pearly mussel is on the endangered species list.