SCRA Blog

Finding Peace in Our Park

By Sophia Patane | December 28, 2020

Forestry Deb Ryun, Executive Director When did you visit? “I return to it often.” “Biking, hiking or driving on the back roads of the Fish Lake Wildlife area is a different experience in every season. In spring and summer, the prairie comes alive with an ever-changing splash of spring colors; Indian paintbrush, wood betony, puccoon,…

A Walk in the Woods: How the 52 Hike Challenge Saved My 2020

By Kate Wright | December 17, 2020

A Walk in the Woods: How the 52 Hike Challenge Saved My 2020 After a nearly decade-long hiatus away from the St. Croix Valley, I found myself constantly seeking out new places to discover or rediscover after moving back. It was not necessarily in my plan to find myself returning to the area full time,…

Giving Thanks

By Sophia Patane | November 25, 2020

Forestry As we reflect on all we have to be thankful for, we can’t help but think of you-the wonderful community of members, donors, volunteers, and river lovers that care for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. 2020 has been a challenging year for us all. We’ve had to adapt at every turn, navigating the…

Finding Phragmites

By Sophia Patane | November 11, 2020

Finding Phragmites Imagine a grass that can grow to heights of 12 to 20 feet. For invasive phragmites, the sky might seem to be the limit, which makes monitoring efforts essential to stopping their spread. Katie Sickmann, SCRA’s Invasive Species Coordinator, and Jeremiah Walters, SCRA’s Naturalist, have been conducting monitoring efforts as part of a…

Play in a Park: A Family Adventure in Mammoth Cave

By Sophia Patane | October 22, 2020

Written by Bethany Cox, Director of Development.   Getting out safely during a global pandemic to have a family adventure seems unrealistic. And yet, the Cox family needed to get out, so we used my 1st grader’s MEA break to do just that. As the book, Do Princesses and Super Heroes Hit the Trails? says,…

Wild, Scenic, and Vulnerable: New Reports Highlight the Health of the St. Croix

By Sophia Patane | October 14, 2020

In the 1960s, “Save Our St. Croix” was a rallying cry for those who cherished the river that forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. This cry, together with the actions of concerned residents and river lovers, led to the St. Croix becoming one of the first eight federally protected Wild and Scenic Rivers under…

Branching Out: What’s New with My St. Croix Woods

By Sophia Patane | September 30, 2020

In honor of the launch of the new My St. Croix Woods website, we sat down with the St. Croix River Association’s Forestry Program Coordinator Nikki Henger to learn more about the work of MSCW and how technology has helped to foster a sense of community across the watershed for woodland owners over the past…

Field Trip: Veliger Tows

By Sophia Patane | August 27, 2020

Zebra mussels are a common aquatic invasive species (AIS) discussed around the SCRA office, but what exactly is a zebra mussel and why does it matter? Recognizable for their distinctive D-shaped bodies and stripes, zebra mussels are filter feeders that take away food from native species and colonize hard surfaces or vegetation in lakes or…

Learning with the Land

By Sophia Patane | August 14, 2020

The St. Croix River Association contributed $40,000 to the city of Lakeland’s efforts in Sally Arneson’s neighborhood to stop stormwater erosion and plant native vegetation, all as part of a larger project—one that reduced over 3,000 lbs. of sediment to the Riverway.   Imagine buying a quaint cabin with a sloping bank down to the…

Protecting Our Oaks: A Woodland Owner Webinar Recap

By Sophia Patane | July 23, 2020

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘oak’? For me, the name is synonymous with a sense of security—every house I have lived in has had an oak nearby, and so I associate them with feeling at home. Each autumn, the sound of acorns plinking down the eaves is a reminder of…