A National Heritage Area is a living, working landscape that recognizes the important role of a region in our country’s story and celebrates its contributions to American history and culture.

The Heritage Initiative is a community-based project asking our neighbors in Minnesota and Wisconsin’s St. Croix River region — including those who live near its many tributaries — if a National Heritage Area would be a good fit for our area.

The Initiative will give people a platform to talk about the region’s history, traditions, natural beauty, and communities. If shared themes are identified, and if those stories provide a connection to America’s history, Heritage Area designation could be pursued.

Learn more about National Heritage Areas »

Your St. Croix

The first phase of the Initiative is a Feasibility Study. During this time, people will be asked to share stories and special places in the region, discuss benefits and challenges of potential Heritage Area designation, and think about strategies for making the most of a Heritage Area if designation is pursued. We will also need to define the potential Heritage Area — the entire St. Croix watershed is invited to join the discussion.

These discussions will take place here on the Heritage Initiative website and at a series of listening sessions and public meetings held throughout the region in the winter of 2011-2012.

Learn more about the process »

Partners and Participants

The Heritage Initiative is facilitated by the St. Croix Valley Foundation and led by a task force comprised of citizens from through the region. Participants on the task force represent a wide array of interests with broad geographic spread, including nonprofit, business and public entities.

Learn more about who is involved »