Here is what visitors to William O’Brien State Park saw this summer

A sampling of the many noted observations at the popular park on the river.




3 minute read

At the beginning of summer, the kids room at William O’Brien State Park’s visitor center got a redo thanks to the Scandia-Marine Lions Club and the Pietro Hanka Di Lorenzo St. Croix River Conservancy Fund.

With donations from the fund set up to memorialize young river lover Pietro Hanka DiLorenzo of Marine on St. Croix, who passed away in March, and volunteer labor from the Lions, the kids area was upgraded.

“Pietro enjoyed the visitor center every week in the winter when we cross-country skied,” said his mother Loralee DiLorenzo. “He was an avid naturalist as a child and maintained his love of the outdoors through fishing and boating as an adult.”

There’s now a tent and mock campsite where kids can play or read many new nature books, more games and other activities to help connect children to nature.

“We are delighted to have these interactive items donated in memory of Pietro,” said Sean Hoppes, interim park naturalist. “About 65,000 park visitors use the Visitor Center each year, and many will have a deeper park experience because of this generous gesture.”

The room now also features a whiteboard to put Post-It notes on with observations from park visitors.

I Saw This:

When I stopped in recently, the board had been completely covered, and I found a lot of stories scattered among the scribbles. Here is a smattering:


St. Croix 360 offers commenting to support productive discussion. We don’t allow name-calling, personal attacks, or misinformation. This discussion may be heavily moderated and we reserve the right to block nonconstructive comments. Please: Be kind, give others the benefit of the doubt, read the article closely, check your assumptions, and stay curious. Thank you!

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world.” – Bill Bullard

One response to “Here is what visitors to William O’Brien State Park saw this summer”

  1. Kerri Kolstad Avatar
    Kerri Kolstad

    What a great idea at William O’Brien SP. Thanks for sharing Greg. Sometimes you go and don’t see anything, so fun to know all those critters are out there!