Landmark Conservancy has purchased a 69-acre forested property located at the confluence of the Chippewa River and Elk Creek, located in Dunn County between Eau Claire and Menomonie.
The property was sold by the Midwest Institute of Scandinavian Culture (MWISC), a small non-profit organization based in Eau Claire whose mission is the education and promotion of Scandinavian culture. MWISC acquired the land in the 1960s and took steps in the 1970s to improve the property in preparation for building a Nordic Cultural Center. When the organization recognized their vision was no longer attainable, they decided to work with Landmark to protect the ecological resources of the property and to promote public access for generations to come.
“This land ranks extremely high in terms of climate resiliency,” said Landmark’s Conservation Director Rick Remington. “This means that the landscape’s diverse features are highly likely to continue hosting biodiversity as our climate changes in the future, even though species composition may shift.”
Permanent protection of the Elk Creek Bottoms property was made possible by a grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, willingness of the MWISC members to sell below market value, and the generosity of Landmark Conservancy supporters. Landmark plans to evaluate visitor access, map existing trails, and add signage in the coming year.
The property is located across the river from the Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. One half mile away and across the county line in Eau Claire County, Landmark and the Town of Union have worked together to create the 127-acre Town of Union Conservancy Area. These properties offer a unique opportunity to explore the diverse landscape of the Lower Chippewa River.
Learn more about this project by watching the YouTube video above!