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Outdoors for All

Thank you again for attending the Outdoors for All: A Community Conversation about Nature, Health, and Equity in October of 2023. It was a helpful experience for the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust (KRLT) and provided us with important insight into what all of you are experiencing. We listened and have been hard at work taking several steps to help overcome some of those barriers you identified about accessing open spaces. It’s the start in the right direction, but we need to continue this conversation as we walk down this long path together.  Here are several initiatives we’re taking on in 2024 based on your comments.


Kinni Explorers - an Outdoor Discovery Program for families.

Families have many challenges with time, money, and other concerns. We heard it expressed many times at the event. KRLT is working with community partners to create equal opportunities for families (single parent, multigenerational, guardianship, nuclear) to experience the outdoors to help improve their mental and physical well-being. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment at our preserves for all, regardless of abilities, race, class, gender, and age, to help families learn together in the outdoors.

The Hudson Hospital Foundation is helping fund our pilot program over the next year. KRLT staff members Molly Barritt-Luebke and Jane Taylor will be working with 35 families representing many demographics to pilot the program.

If interested in participating, please contact Molly Barritt-Luebke at 

Link to Kinni Explorers web page


Universal Access Trail

On October 18, River Maria Urke shared her challenges accessing nature due to her progression of Multiple Sclerosis. We also heard from many others about the need to feel welcomed at sites, the need for places to rest in the shade, and many other challenges. KRLT will be using our Kelly Creek Preserve as a community model for a Universal Access Trail design.  We continue to seek out funding to start conceptual designs through an inclusionary community design process to help plan the accessible trails and experiences at Kelly Creek Preserve.

If you know of any possible funding sources, please let me know at




UW – River Falls Social Work Dept Intern

In the fall of 2024, we have a great opportunity to work with a UW-River Falls intern from the Social Work Dept. Her focus will be to follow up with senior residents on accessing green spaces throughout the region. Our goal is to create pilot programs the first year to then expand from what we’ve learned the following year.     

If you know of senior living groups or individuals who would like to work with us, please let me know at

Researching Affordable Housing & Conservation Land Trust Partnerships

Affordable housing is a critical need locally as well as nationally. I started researching projects where community land trusts have partnered with conservation land trusts to address affordable housing as well as conservation initiatives. One example: Hudson Valley Alliance for Housing and Conservation in New York - RPA | Hudson Valley Alliance for Housing and Conservation.  

Please contact me at if you know of housing initiatives we could learn from, we would like to be a part of this conversation.

Improving Our Communication

After Outdoors for All, we realized the importance of keeping everyone updated on projects and the need to continue the conversation. We received grants from the River Falls Community Foundation  and St. Croix Electric Cooperative to update our website. We increased our social media presence and print material. Plus, KRLT Social Media Coordinator has partnered with Dr. Kevyn Juneau from UW-River Falls to start a podcast in June 2024 on topics revolving around the Kinni River, KRLT, and of course the Outdoors for All initiative. Topics we all can relate to locally, but also having global connections. There have been conversations about possibly hosting a second event, in Minnesota to reach a larger audience, but we are still at the preliminary stages of discussing this.

Please, stay in touch. We’d love to hear your stories about overcoming your own personal barriers to exploring the outdoors. Or if you have other thoughts on individuals, communities, or organizations we should reach out to. Feel free to call me at 715-301-0724 or email at


Again, thank you for sharing your voices on October 18th. It has given us a direction we hope to fulfill to make sure access to the outdoors is available to all.

None of this is possible without your voice. But we also need financial support. Please consider a gift to continue this conversation. Click here to make a donation.

Steve Leonard

Executive Director










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