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15 Stories for 15 Years! Story #14...

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

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 #14: Did you know that you can receive stamps for two national parks at our visitor center? It's true! We are also authorized to commission Junior Rangers—a special joy we experience with kids every week in the summer.

No, we're not a national park, but we are an official partner site for two national parks that meet below our bluff: the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) and the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (SCNSR). We proudly display the National Park Service arrowhead on our signage, offer Junior Ranger badges, and maintain close working relationships with various NPS staff.

This important relationship was highlighted on September 24, 2010, when the superintendents from the two national parks signed a historic agreement making them the first two national parks to be formally aligned as sister parks. The signing occurred in the River Room of the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center in the presence of 47 stakeholders representing 35 different organizations. The group came together for the Great Rivers Symposium—an annual event organized by Great Rivers Confluence, a collaboration led by GRRVLC staff and board members.

Even though we enjoy a close relationship with the National Park Service, we do not receive any funding from them, and we are not an official nonprofit partner with them like the Mississippi Park Connection is for MNRRA and Wild Rivers Conservancy is for SCNSR. Instead, we rely on the generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to support our organization.

So, THANK YOU to all of you who support our mission and whose generosity helps us to continue to expand our partnerships and leverage our influence to connect more and more people to life at the confluence of two great rivers!

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