Strategic Plan

St. Croix River Association Strategic Plan


A thriving watershed, forever accessible, scenic, and wild.

Mission Statement

To protect, restore and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed.

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 River.
  • 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

The St. Croix River Association is the voice of the river and the only organization with a watershed-wide scope in the St. Croix River basin. As the friends group for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, we support and complement the National Park Service’s work within the Riverway.

We work in partnership with many organizations, to perform the following core functions:

Water Resources: We focus on protecting and improving water resources, recognizing their interconnection with land use throughout the watershed.

Land Conservation: We work to protect and restore important natural and scenic areas along the river and throughout the watershed.

Watershed Stewardship: We engage people in educational, recreational and volunteer stewardship activities that give them the understanding and motivation to advocate at the local, state and national levels.

Celebration: The St. Croix River watershed is a national treasure. We live, work, and play in the St. Croix River watershed and we celebrate its unique values.

3-Year Goals and Strategies


Protect and improve the water resources in the St. Croix River watershed.


Convene and work with key players to reduce the sediment and nutrients (e.g. phosphorous and nitrogen) entering the St. Croix River and its tributaries.

Support best efforts to eliminate or reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species.

Work to reduce land use management practices that negatively affect the water in the watershed.

Strengthen coordination and information sharing among watershed partners.


Protect critical lands in the St. Croix River watershed.


Protect and restore key parcels and sensitive lands.

Eliminate or reduce the impacts of terrestrial invasive species.

Maintain and enhance collaboration among conservation organizations and local units of government.


Build a community of advocates dedicated to conserving the St. Croix River watershed now and for future generations.


Engage people in meaningful service opportunities and create active watershed stewards

Promote awareness and responsible public use of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and other federal, state, and local natural areas in the watershed.

Inform and inspire the public to protect the river, with special emphasis on youth.

Extend our reach by supporting rivers and lakes friends groups.

Grow our membership to 1600 by 2020.

Utilize the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to further our shared goals and build awareness of Riverway issues and the work we do.


Grow and effectively manage our financial resources.


Increase our annual operating budget to $1.5 million by 2020.

Expand our major gift and legacy gift programs.

Expand our individual and business donor base.

Increase foundation and government grants.

Continue to explore and develop earned revenue opportunities.


Continue to build a strong organization to effectively advance our mission.


By 2018, develop a communications plan to strategically grow SCRA awareness, goals and support by reaching targeted audiences and enhancing message consistency.

Measure the outcomes of our work and communicate them on a regular basis to stakeholders.

Explore the potential for a signature initiative that will enhance SCRA’s visibility and stature.

Provide staff resources required to achieve the goals and strategies in this plan.

Continue to follow best practices in staff succession planning and board development.

Download the Strategic Plan as a pdf document: Strategic Plan - 2016-2019