A nonprofit group and the River Falls community have raised enough funds to purchase a prime 40-acre tract of land on the lower Kinnickinnic River. In addition to protecting forest and providing river access, the property will also open up an adjacent parcel owned by the River Falls school district.
The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust announced on Jan. 29 that it had met a $500,000 fundraising goal, with help from more than 100 donors and a $187,000 Forest Service grant.
The new community forest will keep prime land undeveloped on the river’s scenic canyon below River Falls. It will also provide opportunities for local teachers and students to use the forest for education. The school district land has been cut off from public access for years, but a new walking path will now connect the whole forest to a parking area.
The new parcel will also link the school district land to city lands that are part of Glen Park. The impact will be far greater than the 40 acres now being purchased.
The Kinnickinnic is a renowned trout stream. It joins the St. Croix about five miles above Prescott.
The land trust says the property will be open to the public 365 days a year. That will be good news for trout anglers wishing to access parts of the lower river that are otherwise difficult to reach.
The new parcel includes 1,500 feet of river frontage, and the mouth of Rocky Branch, a key tributary. It was purchased from the JoAnn Ailport-Dreistadt Estate.