Six Local Non-Profits to Support Before 2020 is Over (good riddance)
Friday Favorites: December 18, 2020
We can all agree that 2020 has been one hell of a year. Many businesses and non-profits took quite a hit with lockdowns and restrictions, and they could really use our support in these last days before 2021.
I’ve spent the last 10 years working for various non-profits so I’m postponing my “Boulevardier Cocktail” #FridayFavorite in the spirit (see what I did there?) of the holidays to share some local non-profits I care about.
Here are six local non-profits I love and hope you will, too:
Ice Age Trail Alliance
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a thousand-mile footpath that highlights the unique landscape that was left behind after an immense flow of glacial ice sculpted a remarkable landscape across Wisconsin 12,000 years ago. My family’s cabin is located near part of the trail in northwest Wisconsin and I grew up hiking various portions. As an adult, I’ve found many new segments while exploring other parts of the St. Croix River Valley. The amazing thing about the trail is that it winds all over Wisconsin, and a segment of it runs by my parents’ home on the southeastern side of Wisconsin, so they could (if they were so inclined) literally walk the trail from their winter home to their cabin! In fact, just this past summer a young man named Coree Woltering set a new Ice Age Trail record, running 1,200 miles in under 22 days!
The Ice Age Trail Alliance relies on volunteers and donations to maintain this amazing trail, which is one of only 11 National Scenic Trails in the country. Their website is full of resources like segment maps and day trips. I invite you to support them and hike a segment soon, you won’t be disappointed!
I first came across Community Homestead last summer at the Osceola Farmer’s Market when I purchased a loaf of bread and some beautiful flowers from their booth. I posted a photo of the bouquet and this caption:
“I bought these beautiful bouquets today at the Osceola Farmer’s Market from the @community.homestead booth. Their mission: Where people of all ages and abilities live and work together. What could be more beautiful than that? In our society’s current state of hatred and discrimination it’s organizations like this that bring me hope. I’m so honored to support them and so happy they’re thriving in our sweet, caring, little Wisconsin community. BRAVO.”
— August 9, 2019
Those words ring even more true today, and I hope you’ll consider supporting this incredible organization.
Community Homestead is a non profit community including people with developmental challenges. Forty people of all ages and abilities celebrate land and human sustainability, running an organic dairy farm, an organic biodiverse garden & CSA, a bakery & food processing kitchen, a woodshop & many crafts. Again, Bravo, Community Homestead.
ArtReach St. Croix
I’ve worked with ArtReach St. Croix in various capacities over the years and I really love the support and creativity they bring to the art community of the St. Croix River Valley. ArtReach connects communities and the arts in the scenic St. Croix Valley by raising visibility of visual, literary and performing arts events that happen in this region. Visit their online shop to purchase items from local artists!
Northwoods Humane Society
Ahhhhh puppies and kitties, who can resist? I can’t. I grew up near this Humane Society and volunteered here for a few months in college; walking dogs and cuddling cats was pretty awesome. If you’re able, there are a few ways to help: make a one-time or recurring donation, donate supplies, or volunteer (cat socializing, dog walking, special events and more). They’re also currently looking for these non-monetary donations: soft dog treats, dry dog food, bleach, laundry detergent, and non-clumping, clay cat litter.
Marine Mills Folk School
If you are new to following me you may not know I spent many years managing historic sites and am a total history nerd; a lot of what I’ll share here on The Landscaper’s Daughter will have a #HistoryHighlight thrown in the mix. Through my work in historic sites I’ve become very interested in folklore and traditional arts and crafts.
One of the local organizations whose mission I really admire is The Marine Mills Folk School. Located in historic Marine on St. Croix, this non-profit promotes “discovering the joy of creating together through traditional arts and crafts” and focuses on an “unplugged, deliberate approach, with an emphasis on intergenerational learning that is fun, collaborative and restorative.” You can support the art of learning and tradition by making a donation or signing up for one of their many exciting classes.
And if you’re looking to whet your baking whistle this weekend, they’re hosting a virtual Cardamom Dough class tomorrow, December 19, 2020!
Founded in 1839, Marine Mills was the site of the first commercial sawmill in what would become the state of Minnesota. As lumbering became less of a dominant economic force, Twin Cities residents became increasingly interested in the area for its natural beauty and access to the St. Croix River. In an effort to emphasize the area’s pastoral beauty, the city name was changed to ‘Marine on St. Croix’ in 1912, as ‘Marine Mills’ was felt to be too industrial.
Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area
It’s no secret I love birds (I have a tattoo of one and we named our daughter after the Old English word for “song bird”), so living near Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area has been pretty special.
Crex Meadows is a 30,000-acre state wildlife management area and the primary management objective is to restore the area to its original condition of a brush prairie-wetland complex. The abundance and diversity of wildlife has made Crex a wildlife show place.
The Friends of Crex is a non-profit that provides volunteer and financial assistance needed to expand the wildlife education program and assist with wildlife management activities at Crex. They are always looking for volunteers and financial support.
Crex Meadows is a beautiful area to visit and there’s a 24-mile driving tour available on their website. I recommend picking up some coffee and treats from Cafe Wren then put on a good playlist on your way to the wildlife area. Once you arrive, turn off the music, roll down the windows (maybe just a little if you visit in the winter), then listen and watch the wildlife. You won’t be disappointed.
From 1911 to 1932, much of the area now occupied by Crex Meadows, was owned by the Crex Carpet Company. The company harvested sedges used in the production of “grass carpets” and wicker-type furniture.