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Mississippi River Parkway Commission
Mission/Vision Statement
Preserving, promoting and enhancing the Mississippi River Parkway for communities and travelers.

  Message from the Pilot

When you're an organization that spans ten states, a 2,300-mile river and more than 3,000 miles of roadways, it's easy to overlook many of the smaller stories happening at the local level. The MRPC Annual Meeting, September 9-11 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, will present some examples of small river towns that have created big successes with projects that have helped to enhance the Great River Road and their communities.

The most way these communities have achieved success is through strategic partnerships. Partnerships allowed local groups with a good idea and some old-fashioned gumption to generate political will, public support and, most importantly, grant dollars. We'll hear from the key players in some really exciting success stories. We'll also hear from representatives from state and regional organizations that will speak about the ways that individual states and the MRPC as a whole can find common goals to partner around. It should be an informative and, I hope, empowering meeting. Make plans to be there.

There is another important reason for you to attend this September's Annual Meeting in La Crosse: There will not be another National Meeting until next September in Arkansas. There will be no Semi-annual meeting in 2011. That's why it is so crucial that you're in La Crosse this September.

Regarding the decision to not have a Semi-Annual meeting in 2011 - It was a hard decision for the board to make. But when we looked at the resources of state commissions and the individual members who are traveling to the meetings, we decided that for 2011, it would be best to have just the Annual Meeting. I should note that it is a decision that was made for 2011 only. The board will be listening to feedback from everyone.


  2010 MRPC Annual Meeting, September 9-11

Sign up now to attend the Annual Meeting in La Crosse, Wisconsin, September 9-11. Don't miss this chance to meet and learn in one of the Mississippi River's most beautiful communities. For more information and to register online, visit

  Announcements & Reminders

Thanks to the Louisiana MRPC! — A huge thank you to the Louisiana MRPC for a successful 2010 Semi-Annual Meeting! The mobile workshops and knowledgeable speakers were both interesting and enjoyable. The special press conference that was held at the meeting to announce the designation of the Great River Road in all ten states was a huge success, generating more than 50 media pick-ups, up and down the river. Overall, it was a successful and quite memorable meeting. A special thanks needs to go out to Brian Parsons and Doug Bourgeois for all their hard work and creativity. Click here for some photos from the press conference.

Sad News — Alvin Meyer died July 5, 2010 at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife, Carol, and four children. Alvin was born in Lake Village, Arkansas, and lived his entire life in the Grand Lake area as the owner-operator of SAL Ranch farm. Community contribution was important to him, and he took pleasure in serving others in any capacity whether it was member, president or dishwasher extraordinaire. Alvin was a true Good Samaritan. His outreach to shut-ins, widows, and widowers, strangers, stranded travelers and people of all kinds was done quietly with no fanfare, but with the dignity and love that befitted the recipients of the outreach—his hospitality was legendary. Alvin was appointed to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission in 2005 and served until illness forced him to resign in 2007.

Great River Road and Interpretive Centers on Facebook! — Keeping step with the times and meeting the younger generation on their own turf, the MRPC National Office has launched a Facebook page for the Great River Road and another for the Great River Road Interpretive Center Network. If you're a Facebook user, be sure to check out the pages and hit the "Like" button. And be sure to let your friends know about the new Facebook pages. At the upcoming Annual Meeting in La Crosse in September, staff from the MRPC National Office will give a short presentation on how Facebook and social media can be used to help the MRPC reach younger audiences.

River Music News — Gretchen Bonfert, aka Giselle Bonfaire, who performed at the 2009 MRPC Annual Meeting, has recently moved from one river city (Minneapolis) to another (New Orleans) and has just released a new CD of Mississippi River music. She has said that the 2009 MRPC Annual Meeting provided the jump start for this project. You can learn more about Ms. Bonfaire and her music at

Upcoming Meetings and Deadlines

August 1 – Deadline for:

  • Interpretive Center Applications
  • Honorary Memberships Nominations
  • Executive Committee Nominations
  • Distinguished Service Award Nominations

August 10 – Deadline for hotel reservations Annual Meeting at Radisson in La Crosse, WI

August 27 - Early Bird registration deadline for the September Annual Meeting

September 9-11 - MRPC Annual Meeting in La Crosse, WI

The MRPC Endowment Fund — Learn more about how you can help sustain efforts to preserve, promote and enhance the Great River Road and the Mississippi River Corridor for generations to come. Download the Endowment brochure.

Please contact the National Office with information for future enewsletters.

222 State Street, Suite 400 • Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 866-763-8310 • Fax: 608-242-8896
Web Site: • E-mail: