Wisconsin's state parks, outdoor recreation areas, forests and trails serve as important drivers of local economic vitality, according to a recent report that estimates that total spending by Wisconsin state park properties visitors is more than $1 billion a year. (1) In recent years, the park system recorded an average level of 14 million visitor-days per year. (Photo source: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/documents/wisc_st_parks-econ_report_2013_final_web.pdf)
The Mississippi River Corridor Region is located along the west edge of Wisconsin from its middle to the southern border, and encompasses St. Croix, Dunn, Pierce, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford, and Grant Counties. This region contains roughly 6,700 square miles and 385 lakes. The Mississippi River running along the region’s western border is the primary recreational resource in the region. Although most public lands within the region are fishery or wildlife areas, there are also a number of state parks. The Great River Road, a thoroughfare that follows the Mississippi for 250 miles, connects over 50 local parks and beaches. Urban influences also impact this region as visitors from the nearby Twin Cities metropolitan area make use of the region’s recreational resources. Suburban development associated with the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area in St. Croix and Pierce Counties continues to impact recreation supply and demand across the region.
Your Wisconsin State Budget vote May 7.
Here is link to State Park Budget info.
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The Mississippi River Corridor Region has thirteen properties in the WSPS. State Trails in this region include the Buffalo River, Chippewa River, Great River, and LaCrosse River, and Red Cedar. Hoffman Hills is the single State Recreation Area in the region. The region’s State Parks include Kinnickinnic, Merrick, Nelson Dewey, Perrot, Wildcat Mountain, Willow River, and Wyalusing River.
The Wisconsin Park System accounts for over 1,200 jobs generating over $84 million in wages that are centered among the top employment sectors of the regional economy that include state and local government, food services and drinking places, private hospitals, and wholesale trade businesses.
Wyalusing State Park
In 2010, the Wisconsin State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan listed the yearly total visitation to Wyalusing State Park at over 207,000 visitors. Nearly 63,000 of the visitors were from the area, and the remainder were non-local visitors. In 2013, annual non-local expenditures was $13,530,146. Local Expenditures was $3,253,368. In 2013, the local economy was helped by $16,783,514. Does Wyalusing State Park, help the local economy? You bet!
*(1)"Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities" [PDF] is available by searching the DNR website for "parks," and then clicking on the link for "Reports and more" under the "Documents & publications" tab.