Pine CouleeProtecting a 'Landmark' for Future Generations
About Pine Coulee
The primary purpose of this project is the acquisition of approximately 76 acres of land in order to protect the unique resources of Pine Coulee and its associated ecological communities and make the area available to the general public for nature-based outdoor activities. Securing Pine Coulee takes an immediate step in providing a place for walking and biking trails and a community trail system.
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 geology gives rise to the diverse ecological communities and species assemblages we find today and hope to protect for the future.
Partners involved in the planning, acquisition, and future management of Pine Coulee include Landmark Conservancy, Freedom Park Great River Road Visitor Center, National Park Service, the City of Prescott, and Coulee River Trails. 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.
Give Today! Help us protect Pine Coulee for future generations!
Click here to read an article from Freedom Park’s Board Chair, Jeff Ruehle, in the Pierce County Journal!
• Provide access to diverse ecological communities to help illustrate the importance of permanent land protection.
From Prescott’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Parks can:
• Create a sense of pride and ownership in a community.
• Inﬂuence a person’s or business’ decision to stay in or move to a community.
• Generate income for local businesses when visitors stay overnight, go out to eat, or rent outdoor equipment.
• The area is connected with several regional and national tourism groups.
• 6,100 vehicles pass by the Pine Coulee property daily.
• The Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway, is popular for bicycle and motorcycle touring.
• Prescott businesses depend on recreation-based tourism in the summer.
• Historic Pine Coulee and its scenic rocky “gorge” are unique to the area.
• Native prairie and oak savanna remnants capture the area’s natural history and show great potential for restoration.
• High climate resilience means that the property will continue to be biodiverse as our climate changes.
• Intact forest along the Mississippi River ﬂyway, provides habitat for resident breeding birds and migratory bird stopover.
Protecting a ‘Landmark’
Landmark Conservancy has secured a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant through Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that will fund nearly half of the total land purchase. Approximately $500,000 in additional funding from public and private resources are needed to purchase the land by the end of 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Landmark Conservancy own the property long-term?
Possibly. Landmark currently owns 24 properties with public access for low-impact recreation across western and northwestern Wisconsin. However, if another suitable non-proﬁt or government owner emerges in the future, Landmark is open to transferring ownership of the Preserve. State of Wisconsin funding restrictions ensure future public access.
When will trails be developed?
Once purchased, Landmark Conservancy will be working with community partners to take immediate steps towards making the site publicly accessible. Rustic hiking trails will be established within a year of purchase of the property. Long-term plans may include habitat restoration of the site, an ADA accessible trail, and connectivity with a city-wide biking route when funding becomes available.
Community organizations and individuals like you are collaborating to permanently protect Pine Coulee, including:
Landmark Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.