This marks our fifteenth year as an organization. In August, we hosted an event to celebrate this achievement and honor past and present volunteers and members.
The event was held at Freehands Farm in Ashland, where we welcomed over 130 guests. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces, as well as quite a few new ones. Past board members and founding members Dorothy Lagerroos and Laurence Wiland (recently appointed board president) spoke about their memories from the early days and founding of the Bad River Watershed Association. They described the impetus that led to the formation of the organization, which was a lack of recent water quality data in the Bad River watershed. Laurence acknowledged the foresight our founders had in identifying the importance of collecting baseline data, especially in the light of new proposed mining legislation, and the issues and proposed developments in our own local watersheds that have arisen since 2002.
Laurence and our outgoing board president Sjana Schanning spoke about the expansion of our service area that was approved by the board in 2015 to include watersheds from Red Cliff to the Michigan state line. We needed a new name to reflect this broader geographical area, one that still captures the essence of our mission as an organization, which is to promote and protect clean water resources in Wisconsin’s Lake Superior basin.
After long discussions with our board, stakeholders and founding members, we came up with several possibilities for a new name and we sent our members (many of you) a poll to see what you thought. We can’t understate how valuable your feedback was. The name we ultimately chose was not one from the list, but carefully crafted in large part from your comments and responses.
We have officially changed our name to… Superior Rivers Watershed Association! We are proud of our new name, and feel it represents the work we do, our local communities and their stewardship of the rivers we all treasure, and Lake Superior, where those rivers ultimately lead.
Our heartfelt thanks to the community members who donated some very valuable and special items to our fundraising raffle and silent auction, which undeniably helped draw a big crowd. Thank you also to the following local businesses who sponsored the event: Blue Wave Foundation, Blue Water Realty, Heart Graphics, Fiorio Wealth Advisors, Farms Not Factories, Bad River Lodge & Casino, Thrivent Financial, and Ehlers & Pierce CPAs, Inc.
Finally, thank you to everyone who helped make the past 15 years so great. Even if you couldn’t be there at our anniversary celebration, we were celebrating you.