What river is home to a quarter of all fish species in North America? Is the transportation corridor for nearly two-thirds of all grain exported from the United States? Is the focal point for a National Park Service site in Minnesota?
If you answered the Mississippi River, you’re right! This colossal waterway runs through 10 states and its watershed drains half the nation. The Mississippi begins as a trickle in northern Minnesota and more than 2,300 miles later eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
Twenty-three years ago this month, the National Park Service commemorated the upper stretch of the river with the establishment of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, in partnership with various local and state governments and other groups. Although located in bustling St. Paul, MN, the 72-mile park offers quiet stretches for canoeing, fishing, birdwatching and hiking. The site also features visitor centers and trails that highlight human and natural history along the river.
JNPA has been a proud non-profit partner of this site for more than 20 years.