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15 Stories for 15 Years! Story #13...

We’re featuring 15 stories for our 15th anniversary! 2021 is the Great River Road Visitor & Learning Center's 15th year at Freedom Park. To celebrate, we will share 15 stories that highlight important moments in our history, remarkable people we've met along the way, lessons learned, milestones reached, and how Friends of Freedom Park and the surrounding communities have supported each other over the years.


Story #13: Trails are another project that have always been part of our vision. In a 2008 strategic planning session, the Board of Directors of the Friends of Freedom Park answered this question: "If you were all powerful and money was not a problem, describe your vision of the GRRLC [Great River Road Learning Center] and Freedom Park in 10 years. What is your ultimate dream?"

Three out of the six responses included trails:

1) "My answer: Nature trails that take us below the bluff-line ..."

2) "Find a way to help finance the hikers path project between Prescott and at least Diamond Bluff or up the river to St. Croix Beach Area, more distance in our future plans."

3) "There would be trails (bike, walking, exercise & nature) extending from the Park to downtown, Magee Park, connecting the north side of town to the south end going through downtown."

It has taken longer than 10 years to bring those dreams to fruition, but it's happening through the influence, persistence, and partnership of the Friends of Freedom Park. In 2019, the Point Douglas trail opened, connecting Hastings to Prescott. In 2022, a paved multiuse trail connecting downtown Prescott to Freedom Park is expected to be constructed. And a collaborative called Coulee River Trails has sketched a plan to create a trail system that would make Freedom Park a trail head for potentially 14+ miles of multiuse trails that will connect downtown Prescott, Magee Park, and the north and south sides of town with the potential for expansion into other areas in the future.

The dreams of our founders are coming true! Check out couleerivertrails.com, follow @couleerivertrails on Instagram, and like Coulee River Trails on Facebook to stay connected.

Donate today to Friends of Freedom Park to keep the trails dream alive!



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