Our Story

Valley Stewardship Network was conceived in the 1990’s, when sportsmen and conservation groups established a “network” to share experience, best practices, and new ideas for the protection of land, water, and habitat. Much of the organization’s activity in the early years after establishing VSN as a nonprofit organization was focused on water quality monitoring.
After 15 years of data collection, it became clear that the streams and rivers in the Kickapoo and neighboring watersheds contain excess sediment and nutrients. This situation threatens much of what people value about our area, including health, economy, and recreation. Run-off into our streams and rivers is detrimental to trout and wildlife and it is known to cause toxic algal blooms. The presence of excessive sediment and nutrients in our waters also indicates the potential for farmland degradation and a decreasing recreational economy – two of the things our communities most rely upon.
With these insights, Valley Stewardship Network’s activities and programming focus on these areas:

Water Quality Research

Today, in addition to baseline water quality monitoring, VSN’s water quality research is increasingly applied to understand and support land stewardship practices. We are now measuring water quality benefits from land use improvements.

Stewardship Assistance

VSN offers assistance and access to the many programs available that support good stewardship by farmers, landowners, and all who enjoy our area. We play a central organizing role by serving as a hub of access and collaboration with other conservation agencies and organizations in our area. This includes our shared offices at Conservation Connections on Viroqua’s Main Street.

Youth and Community Outreach & Education

We offer workshops and training to help all community members and visitors learn what’s unique about the Kickapoo and surrounding watersheds in our area. Our goal in doing this is to give participants knowledge and tools to enjoy and care for natural treasures and to support the health of our communities.
Our staff, volunteers, and board members work to provide year-round access to the information and services that help people to make the best decisions about caring for land and water.

We invite you to connect and protect what matters most.

Our network of supporters and partners share our vision of healthy land and water for quality foods, businesses, and recreation that can be sustained and enjoyed for generations to come. We’d love to hear about your relationship to land and water and how we might help to realize your conservation vision.