Author Archives: heidib

A Message from Mary Stefanski

Friends and Volunteers, I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. In my last message I said we were moving and we are now officially at 102 Walnut Street. Unfortunately, the open house/party will need to wait as none of us have been allowed to work on-site to unpack boxes or put things away. The office looks a little like a scene from a horror movie with boxes strewn about and animal taxidermy mounts perched randomly in a dark, lifeless space. On the other-hand, our old offices at 51 East 4th are eerily vacant.

We had A LOT of left over items from the move (office furniture and supplies, books, binoculars, posters, etc) which have been donated to the Friends of the Refuge Headwaters. They have worked with Darr Auctions and Realty of Rushford, MN to offer these items for public sale. With the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, there will not be a viewing day to personally inspect the items but you can view the photos and bid on them at The auction starts ending at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, so get your bidding number early. If you are interested in items but have specific questions, feel free to email me or call my desk phone and leave a message (507-494-6229) and I will answer them as best I can.

There will also not be a Friends meeting again this month, hopefully the May meeting (May 28) will occur, even if it is by conference call.

I hope you can get out and enjoy some fresh spring air, watch the newly arriving birds at your feeder, or even take a drive to the refuge with binoculars to see what’s changing out there. The flood waters are receding so all of our boat landings should be open by the end of today.

Take care of yourself and stay strong.

Mary Stefanski
Winona District Manager
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Mississippi River Flooding Could Hamper Boat Access

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge), Winona District is urging boaters to take precautions in the coming days regarding flooding on the Mississippi River. Boaters should be vigilant as flood waters will have significantly changed conditions at traditional access, camping, and day-use sites. Excessive current, turbid water, and submerged and floating… Continue Reading

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Offices Relocate

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) offices previously located at 51 East 4th Street in Winona, MN have relocated. Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020 they are located at 102 Walnut Street in Winona. The Refuge Headquarters office which oversees the 260 mile refuge from Mississippi River… Continue Reading

March Meeting of the Friends Canceled

The regularly scheduled monthly Friends of the Refuge Headwaters meeting was scheduled for next Thursday, March 26. Given the health and wellness guidance currently in place for all of us, it has been decided that it is in everyone’s best interest to forgo this month’s meeting. We will hope for a better situation in April. … Continue Reading

Whitewater Master Naturalist Course

Friends and Volunteers, please see the flyer (right – click image to open .pdf) announcing the spring Master Naturalist training program offered by the University of Minnesota Extension at Whitewater State Park. If you have questions, please contact Whitewater State Park Lead Interpretive Naturalist Sara Holger at 507-312-2308 or by email at Continue Reading

Damsels and Dragons Program

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) and Friends of the Refuge Headwaters (Friends) are co-sponsoring the program Damsels and Dragons of Wisconsin and Minnesota by naturalist and wildlife photographer Dan Jackson of Chaseburg, WI. The free program will be held at the Winona History Center, 160 Johnson Street, Winona, MN, on… Continue Reading

Friends January Meeting

The January Friends of the Headwaters meeting will be held at the Refuge office (51 East 4th Street, Winona) in the basement (Room 20) beginning at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, January 23. The agenda for the meeting is below for your review. There are several exciting opportunities coming up to talk about! 1. Call the meeting to… Continue Reading

Ice Fishing for Kids

The annual Kid’s Ice Fishing Event co-sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Friends of the Refuge Headwaters is scheduled for Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the McNally Boat Landing on Prairie Island Drive, Winona, MN. Children ages 6 through 13 and their families are invited to join… Continue Reading

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