💧Coon Creek Watershed to Celebrate Water, Conservation, and Community During Valley Conservation Day

💧Coon Creek Watershed to Celebrate Water, Conservation, and Community During Valley Conservation Day

May 4th, 2024 – 9am – 7pm | Coon Valley Dairy Supply Company – Coon Valley, WI

COON VALLEY, Wis.– The Coon Creek Community Watershed Council (CCCWC) is partnering with Coon Valley Dairy Supply Company to host its second annual Valley Conservation Day on May 4th in Coon Valley.

The full-day watershed celebration will feature a performance by Mollie B and Friends as well as other live music, a makers market with more than 50 local artisans, local food and beer, and conservation fun for the whole family. CCCWC, a local conservation nonprofit, hopes the festival will bring residents together from within and beyond the Driftless Area’s Coon Creek Watershed.

“We are so excited to welcome everyone to Coon Valley to celebrate all the ways water connects us,” said Sydney Widell, Watershed Coordinator with CCCWC. “And we are deeply grateful to everyone in our watershed community who has helped us make this event possible.”

One of these major community partners is Coon Valley Dairy Supply Company who will be holding the festival on its fields. The event space borders Coon Creek and is only a few minutes drive from downtown Coon Valley. This land is also the site of the former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp, which was the headquarters of the 1930s Coon Creek watershed conservation project –the first watershed conservation project in the nation.

The conservation practices developed by the CCC, community members, and other collaborators during the 1930s eventually reversed catastrophic cycles of flooding and erosion in the Coon Creek Watershed set in motion by settler agriculture. At a time when flooding is once again intensifying, CCCWC is looking to its history of community collaboration to guide the watershed’s path forward.

“We hope our festival calls back the experimental and collaborative spirit that made the Coon Creek project a national model for land and water conservation,” Widell said. “We know that the Coon Creek community has always been at the heart of conservation work, and CCCWC is proud to carry that tradition forward through events like Valley Conservation Day.”

Some of the community collaborators who will be present at this year’s event include county, state and federal conservationists, partners across the University of Wisconsin System, and local nonprofits, libraries, and farmers. These partners and more will be sharing conservation resources during the Watershed Fair portion of the event, which will run from 12-4:00.

More Watershed Fair highlights include fly fishing tutorials and the distribution of free kids’ fishing rods, with support from Coulee Region Trout Unlimited, as well as a wide range of childrens’ crafts coordinated by Knutson Memorial Library and McIntosh Memorial Library.

Valley Conservation Day will open at 9:00 with a Makers Market with more than 50 local artisans, followed by a free, Coon Valley Lions Club pancake breakfast featuring pancakes from Great American Pancake Company in Cashton and maple syrup from Timber Coulee-based Embark Maple Energy.

Other free food will include baked potatoes donated by Potato King, sweet corn, a hog roast from Simply Smoked, and seasonal ferments donated by Viroqua-based Fizzeology. The day will also feature a pickle competition officiated by local radio host Gary Gilbertson, WPR’s Hope Kirwan, and Mollie B at 3:45. Mollie B will also be leading a polka party for kids at 4:30, before she and her band take the stage at 5:00.

Entry to the general event is free. Tickets to see Mollie B perform are $20 in advance for adults and $25 for adults at the door. Advanced tickets to Mollie B can be purchased at this link, or at participating local businesses, and all proceeds will go towards watershed conservation work. CCCWC recommends guests pack lawn chairs and picnicware.

The mission of the Coon Creek Community Watershed Council is to continue the historic legacy of conservation leadership through improving and restoring our soil, water, and air as stewards of the Creek Watershed. We focus on strategies and practices that individuals can implement. Together, we are learning to make running water walk.

For lodging information, visit ExploreLaCrosse.com or call 800-658-9424

Sydney Widell
Watershed Coordinator
Coon Creek Community Watershed Council
E5214 Traastad Lane | Coon Valley, WI 54623

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