Friends of the Black River

We are a nonprofit conservation organization that began in 2004 to protect and preserve the health and natural beauty of the Black River as it flows through Jackson County in Wisconsin.

That initial core group has now grown to a membership of around 100, made up of concerned citizens from both inside and outside the county.

Mission Statement

The Friends of the Black River will foster community appreciation, understanding, and sustainable use of the river and its watershed by hosting educational and enjoyable programs, events and conservation projects by promoting wise decision-making when issues affect the health of the Black River Basin.

Conservation stewardship

As stewards of the Black River watershed, we are engaged in a number of activities to protect the health of the river. Among those activities include the annual river cleanup held each summer, an Earth Day Cleanup held in the spring and the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup held twice a year.

We have an active Water Action Volunteer group that monitors the health of streams in the Black River watershed and an invasive species awareness program.

We have partnered with land trusts and landowners to set aside land for preservation and public enjoyment.

We support the county’s recycling program with monetary donations.

Recreation support

A dedicated crew clears stream of fallen trees that could hinder paddlers as they travel the river’s tributaries.

We also host a number of paddles during the spring. Members who are knowledgeable paddlers also hold various paddling instruction sessions in the spring and summer.

We also maintain landings along the river for paddlers to launch and take-out.

Community education

We hold monthly programs featuring speakers who cover a wide array of topics about the environment, plants and wildlife, recreational activities, adventurous undertakings and the history of the Black River. The meetings are free and open to the public.

We also hold snowshoe hikes in the winter, woodland flower walk in the spring and a prairie plant walk in the summer.

We sponsor a photo contest at the annual county fair, offering prizes for winning photography taking in the Black River watershed, and have a presence at the annual GreenLifeXpo held each year in Black River Falls.

Our quarterly newsletters documents the various activities we’ve held and promote upcoming events. The past and recent newsletters can be found here.

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