Welcome to The Kinni from Where I Sit.
I write this from the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust offices overlooking the magnificent Kinnickinnic River (Kinni) in River Falls, where on a daily basis I am able to watch the eagles, hawks and osprey soar over the river – and just yesterday caught a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker in flight over the Kinni.
I am thrilled to start this blog where I plan to provide you with information about the important resource we have in the Kinnickinnic River, the numerous efforts underway by many individuals and organizations to protect the natural resources and scenic beauty of the Kinnickinnic River watershed, and the importance of conservation to sustaining a quality of life that we all have come to expect and enjoy.
What a glorious fall and early winter it has been in the Kinnickinnic River watershedâ€¦yes, the Kinni drains a 170 square mile watershed…see the map below and I promise more about the watershed in future blogs.
We have just transitioned from November to December â€“ the fly rods and gear have now been put away for the year and the memories of a wonderful season on the Kinni will carry us forward through the winter.Â These memories extend far beyond the far too few fishing adventures, however, as the Kinni provides us with much more than just a world class trout fisheryâ€¦
As the season moved from spring to summer, and now fall to winter, I was able to watch the changing of the vegetation and blooming of the various prairie flowers on the increasing acres of restored grassland â€“ and celebrate with all of you the mid-summer acquisition by the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and transfer to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources of the 115 acre Quarry Road property in Kinnickinnic Township.Â Over the next 5 years we can all watch and participate in the restoration of this property to prairie grassland and oak savanna which will provide habitat for an array of threatened grassland bird species, restore wonderful wildlife habitat, and provide much needed watershed protection for the Kinni and the St. Croix River.
In reflection I was also able to enjoy some incredible bird watching, take in some relaxing walks along the river â€“ both urban and rural, share the Kinni in all its glory with many people, including nationally renowned musicians Ramblinâ€™ Jack Elliott and Scarlet Rivera, and see the realization of the Budd familyâ€™s vision of a memorial to Stephen E. Budd through the development of two beautiful public access improvements that will provide access to the Kinni for all.
As a reminder of why we at the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust are in the watershed conservation business, Mother Nature threw several once in a lifetime rain events at us â€“ challenging us to remember the important connection between our river and the land which drains into it.
The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust is now two and one-half years into the Protect the Kinni Campaign, a $7 million effort to protect over 1,000 acres of critical river habitat. This is the largest land protection effort in KRLTâ€™s history and I will share more stories about this effort with you in the future.
It’s all good and through this blog I look forward to sharing with you observations of The Kinni from Where I Sit.