Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway

A non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.

Our Mission

The purpose of the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway (FWHP) is to exemplify and promote the natural, recreational and historic resources within the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers corridor and create additional opportunities for history interpretation, education, recreation, and tourism.

We are a non-profit 501c3 organization which was formed because we felt an obligation to tell the stories of this great river system. So much of why we are here stems from these waters, and there are many interesting stories to be shared.

We also felt that the river was not being utilized for recreation as much as it could be along some stretches. We saw this as a lost economic development opportunity and so are creating or upgrading access points to include those that may be accessed by all abilities.

Then there is the conservation need. These rivers have worked hard for us for centuries, and we value that as part of our heritage as well as our future. Balance in caring for this great resource is the key to it continuing to be a resource for us into the future.

These are the philosophies that guide our work.

Mission Statement

To meaningfully preserve, promote, and celebrate our river heritage while promoting vibrant and connected riverfront communities.

Vision Statement

Vibrant riverfront communities connected by the rich and varied heritage they share.

    Measures of Success

    Goal 1 Draw attention to the beauty and rich history of the Fox and Lower Wisconsin rivers

    Draw attention to the beauty and rich history of the Fox and Lower Wisconsin rivers so more local residents enjoy their river and have even more reasons to feel proud of the place we call home.

    In essence, the FWHP is all about calling attention to the economic, recreational, cultural, and natural resources and assets along the waterway.  Increasing our residents awareness of what exists close to home allows them to access parks, natural areas, historic sites and other assets they may otherwise not have known about, and can now enjoy with their families and friends.  This concept also applies to certain commercial and recreational enterprises that can provide sport, entertainment and hospitality events, facilities and services to our residents.

    Knowledge of these assets helps our residents develop a sense of place and be connected to a shared natural and built environment.  It also helps develop pride in our communities as being a special place in which we live, work, recreate and do business.  All of these things foster community pride and support a positive image of ourselves and the place in which we live.

    Goal 2 Draw visitors to the communities along the waterway.

    Draw visitors to the communities along the waterway, and offer them enough reasons to extend their stay, as well as return, so that we add benefit from increased tourism and subsequent business development.

    The assets and positive image the FHWP helps develop among our citizens can be projected outside of the parkway corridor, and be used to promote the waterway as a tourism destination. Visitor spending generates jobs and employment opportunities for our residents. A 2012 report entitled The Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin prepared by Tourism Economics reported the following findings for 2011:

    • Tourism generated $16 billion in business sales that sustained 181,000 jobs.
    • Those jobs represent 7.8% of total employment – 1 in every 13 jobs is sustained by tourism.
    • As a result of the direct, indirect and induced impact of tourism $950 million in local, state and federal taxes were generated.
    • Without tourism generated tax revenue, each household would need to pay an additional $565 to maintain the current level of government services.

    Tourism development is widely seen as another pillar that can support our local economies. A diverse economic base helps insulate our workforce from economic forces impacting the broader economy.

    These goals speak to the opportunity to use the Parkway to acknowledge the unique and diverse assets associated with the waterway. And, having identified these assets, be able to promote them in a collaborative way so that we can share in the benefits that they offer.