The Friends of Washington County (“the Friends”) and our sister organization, the Friends of the St. Croix Boom Site are proud to announce that we will be helping the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plan for the future of the St. Croix Boom Site in 2015.
The Friends of the St. Croix Boom Site will be holding a series of meetings in which members of the general public will have the opportunity to share their vision for the future of the Boom Site. The Friends will provide a brief introduction to the St. Croix Boom Site, then lead a discussion of access, facilities, programming and any and all other aspects of the Boom Site’s operation.
The Friends will reports its findings, including our Vision for the future of the St. Croix Boom Site, to the DNR, which owns and manages the property. We hope that our input–your input—will be influential in shaping the facilities and management policies at the Boom Site for years to come.
Public Meeting Schedule
Monday February 9, 7 p.m., Water Street Inn, 101 Water Street South, Stillwater, MN
A meeting will be held with interested business men and women in the St. Croix Valley. Any interested party may attend, but the discussion will be geared primarily to individuals with a business interest in the community.
Wednesday February 18, 6:30 p.m., St. Croix River Association, 230 South Washington Street, St. Croix Falls, WI
This meeting will be geared somewhat toward the needs and concerns of river users—canoeists, kayakers, other boaters, fishers, swimmers—though individuals with other interests are more than welcome to attend.
Tuesday February 24, 7 p.m., Council Chambers, Stillwater City Hall, 216 North Fourth Street, Stillwater, MN
A meeting will be held with the general public, but also including members of City of Stillwater and Washington County boards and commissions, such as parks commissions, historical preservation, and other relevant interests. Any interested party may attend.
Wednesday February 25, 6:30 p.m., Stillwater Township Hall, 13636 90th Street North, Stillwater, MN 55082 (at the intersection of MN Highway 96 and Norell Avenue North)
A meeting will be held with land-based recreational organizations, youth groups and the like—including but not limited to bicyclists, hikers, motorcyclists, Boy Scouts, and so on. Any interested party may attend, but the discussion will be geared primarily to individuals engaged in land-based recreational activities.
Boom Site History
Many residents of the St. Croix Valley remember when the St. Croix Boom Site was closed to the public by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDoT) in 2008. The Friends of Washington County (the Friends) organized public opinion, and persuaded MnDoT to reopen the site.
MnDoT had managed the Boom Site as a public wayside for almost 70 years, but had determined that the Boom Site no longer fulfilled a transportation safety function. So it was closed, along with 85 similar waysides throughout the state. MnDoT was persuaded to reopen the Boom Site by its stature on the U.S. Register of Historic Places.
The Boom Site was created in 1937 to commemorate the logging boom in the St. Croix Valley, which over a period of almost 75 years saw some 7 billion board feet of lumber harvested. Much of this harvest was floated down the St. Croix River and its tributaries. The logs were then collected and stored in the so-called log “boom” just north of the city of Stillwater, and adjacent to where the Boom Site park is located today.
After reopening the Boom Site, MnDoT managed it for one more year (2009), then handed it over to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which took over ownership and management of the site in 2010.
Last summer, the 100th anniversary of the final log to pass through the St. Croix Boom was celebrated with articles on St. Croix 360 (Last Log Through the Boom and Jams, Dams, Pines and Pigs) and a special event.