Historic and unique Pine Coulee is located near the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers, and Landmark Conservancy is poised to protect it forever in the coming year. Through a partnership with Friends of Freedom Park, Coulee River Trails and the Coulee’s current landowner, Pine Coulee Nature Preserve may become a reality as soon as 2024.
Pine Coulee and its scenic rocky “gorge” are the result of natural processes at work over the millennium. Erosional forces, which are still at work today, sculpted Pine Coulee from the surrounding landscape leaving behind a glimpse of our region’s underlying geology and natural history. Biodiversity often begins below the surface, where the geology gives rise to the diverse ecological communities and species assemblages we find today, and hope to protect for the future.
“It’s not often we find a conservation project that brings together the elements of ecology, recreation, history, and community,” said Rick Remington, Landmark’s interim Executive Director. “Pine Coulee’s unique ecology, position on the landscape, and historical prominence will help create the public excitement we need for this project to be successful.”
Landmark plans to purchase the 76-acre property through a combination of public and private fundraising. A grant through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was secured earlier this spring, and a funding request has been submitted to the Pierce County Ad Hoc ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Committee. Landmark will appeal for financial support from the public in the late summer once public grant funding is known.
Our collective goals are to make the property available to the community, improve visitor access through select infrastructure investment while protecting the resource, and continue to develop planned trail connections with the community.
Once secured, Pine Coulee Nature Preserve will become the cornerstone of the Coulee River Trails system, a collaborative effort with the City of Prescott, Town of Oak Grove, Pierce County, National Park Service and Prescott School District.
Help us permanently conserve this special place for generations to come! Thank you for valuing the landscapes and natural resources of Northwest Wisconsin.