Kick off the 50th anniversary celebration of Wild & Scenic Rivers this month

Events to mark this year’s milestone range from presentations to outdoor explorations.




4 minute read

The St. Croix River Association, National Park Service, and other organization are hosting a bunch of events all year to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, which included the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers when it was signed into law in 1968.

This month, you can choose to get outside enjoying winter in the watershed, or stay indoors for speakers and socializing.

See you on the St. Croix!

Get Outdoors Day

Saturday, January 13, 1 – 3 p.m.
Willow River State Park Visitor Center

We will have sledding, winter kubb, winter scavenger hunt, snowshoeing and more fun winter activities for you to enjoy! Please bring your own sleds and snowshoes. Event is FREE to attend, but vehicle admission into the park is required.

Friends of Willow River and Kinnickinnic State Park, Inc. and the St Croix River Association. Call 715-386-9340 or email for more information.

Julie Galonska: Creating the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

Julie Galonska
Julie Galonska (NPS photo)

Friday, January 19, 7 – 8 p.m.
Marine Village Hall
121 Judd St.
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Join us for a celebration of both the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway’s 50th anniversary and Marine Community Library’s sixth birthday! Special guest, Julie Galonska, the new Riverway superintendent, will tell the tale of how the beautiful Saint Croix and Namekagon Rivers, once manipulated and harnessed for the logging industry, became America’s first wild and scenic river national park. Hosted by the Marine Community Library and the St. Croix River Association.

Freemans Explore

Saturday, January 20, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Park Center
15791 US Hwy 63
Hayward, WI 54843

Rivers connect us all and Dave Freeman has spent the better part of the last 20 years exploring some of the world’s most iconic waterways. Dave and his wife Amy have paddled across both North and South America, exploring the Mackenzie, Peel, Hudson, Ottawa, Berens, Churchill, Winnipeg, Rainy, Pigeon, Yukon, Sturgeon Weir, Amazon, Pacaya, Samaria, Taltson, Tazin, and hundreds of other lakes and rivers.

From remote, rarely visited rivers like the Rio Roosevelt in the Amazon to the Harlem River flowing through New York City’s urban jungle, all waters ways have a story to tell and in this presentation Dave will use stories, images, and video to introduce you to rivers around the globe.

Why are rivers important and what can they teach us? How can we advocate for and protect our waterways for future generations?  Rivers often meander and change course, but these are the questions we will explore as the evening unfolds. Buy Tickets Here: Hosted by the St. Croix River Association and the Namekagon River Partnership.

Ski with the St. Croix River Association

Sunday, January 28, 9 a.m.
William O’Brien State Park

The annual William O’Brien Ski Race is just around the corner! Get outside and ski with Team SCRA. Register online for the classic, skate or kids race and consider wearing your SCRA T-shirt on the outside of your racing gear. Look for the SCRA flag close to the starting line and meet us there!

Bonus February event:

Anniversary Kick-off Party: Sex, Bugs, and Rock and Roll

Dr. Marlene Zuk

Thursday, February 1, 6 – 9 p.m.
Winehaven Winery
10020 Deer Garden Lane
Chisago City, MN 55013

Presented by Marlene Zuk, TED speaker, biologist, and writer who researches animal behavior and evolution, mostly using insects as subjects. Zuk is interested in the ways that people use animal behavior to think about human behavior, and vice versa, as well as in the public’s understanding of evolution.

We will start and end the anniversary party with Soul Tree Band from the Twin Cities. Cake and appetizers will be served. Cash bar from Winehaven. Tickets:

Flagship anniversary events later this year:

  • Thursday, April 5 – Press Conference, St. Croix River Visitor Center, St. Croix Falls, WI
  • Thursday, April 19 – The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway: The Enduring Gift – Blacklock Opening Reception, Mill City Museum, Minneapolis, MN
  • Wednesday, June 6 – Saving the St. Croix Riverway – Film Premier, Fitzgerald Theatre, St. Paul, MN
  • Friday, September 14 – Heart of the River Opening Night, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI
  • Tuesday, October 2 – 50th Anniversary Event, The Phipps Center for the Arts


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Kick off the 50th anniversary celebration of Wild & Scenic Rivers this month