North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area (NWW) connects people, groups and organizations to help visitors and residents develop greater appreciation of the nationally significant resources within the St. Croix River watershed.*
The watershed covers nearly 8,000 square miles and crosses the boundaries of two states (Minnesota and Wisconsin), eighteen counties, and four tribal territories. NWW works to promote programs and services developed by historical societies, heritage and historical site managers, natural resource organizations, arts organizations, educational institutions, science and cultural researchers, and other project partners. NWW seeks to benefit these diverse groups by promoting their programs and services, and advocating for them on a regional, national, and international level. Our collaborative efforts are intended to help communities in the St. Croix watershed develop a stronger, more sustainable economic base, by attracting new businesses to this region and through heritage tourism.
North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area has evolved from a shared regional vision based on collaboration and has adopted goals to:
- Create sustainable economic opportunities based on our region’s heritage to enhance communities, livability, and quality of life.
- Connect the region in order to help preserve and enhance the historical, cultural, and natural resources that exist within our nationally distinctive watershed.
- Increase awareness and understanding of the watershed’s heritage, stories, and resources that demonstrate those stories.
*Just what is a watershed? This St. Croix River watershed map shows a vast network of connected river systems that defines the boundary of North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area. Each tributary river system feeds water into the St. Croix River, and then (at its confluence) into the Mississippi River. The map was produced by St. Croix Master Watershed Stewards (a project of North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area).