8 October 2015 – What better way to spend an evening but on a train! The St Croix National Scenic Riverway and our Park Partner, St Croix River Association, teamed up to create a wonderful opportunity for the public and our volunteers. In appreciation to all of our volunteers, we hosted a volunteer recognition event on the Osceola & St Croix Valley Railway. The heritage railroad in Osceola, Wisconsin is owned jointly by the Osceola Historical Society and the Minnesota Transportation Museum. Operations are based out of the historic 1916 SOO Line depot and on former Soo Line and Wisconsin Central trackage.
Park Ranger Donyal and I hosted a crafts table for the kids while the adults were encouraged to partake in a
scavenger hunt revolved around all the fascinating sights along the tracks. A variety of gourmet sandwiches with chocolate & caramel covered popcorn was served and highly enjoyed by everyone. I greatly enjoyed conversing with volunteers that were able to attend the event along with the general public who were interested in attending. For the event, we had over 100 attendees with 10 volunteers as our guests of honor. Our goal was to recognize and publicize the importance of our volunteers with a mug and 2016 centennial pin (in addition to a free train trip). The superintendent of the Park gave a small speech for each volunteer while I helped hand out the gifts. The entire event was about three hours long with a great deal of socializing. Overall, our hopes for this event were to strengthened current relationships between volunteers and partners, attracted new volunteers, and encouraged donations for the Association.