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2024 National MRPC Annual Meeting

Date: Sep 18 - 20, 2024 @ 8:00 AM (CDT)
Location: Winona, Minnesota
September 18 – 20, 2024
Winona, MN

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Join commissioners, members, interpretive centers, and partners from the 10-state Great River Road region September 18-20, 2024, in Winona, Minnesota, for the 2024 MRPC Annual Meeting – Arts, Outdoor Recreation and the Mississippi River: Bringing it Together on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway & All-American Road.

This meeting will engage attendees on topics related to economic development and tourism along the Great River Road. We’ll learn from each other as we see and hear examples from Winona and throughout Minnesota. Find engaging sessions with ideas to take home and time to network and collaborate across the four technical committees. Together, we’ll celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and the best of what has been accomplished across the Great River Road states.

Hotel Reservations Are Open

Riverport Inn & Suites – Use code “MRPC24”
(507) 452-0606 – Refer to MRPC Annual Meeting block
King Rooms are $139
Double Queen Rooms are $149
*Room block ends on August 18.

Travel Suggestions to Winona:

  • Fly into Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and rent a car (approximately 2 hour drive along the Great River Road) or use GROOME Transportation
  • Fly into LaCrosse, WI Regional Airport serviced by American Airlines through Chicago O’Hare and rent a car (approximately 30 minute drive along the Great River Road) or use GROOME Transportation
  • Fly into Rochester, MN Airport and rent a car (approximately one hour drive) or use GROOME Transportation
  • Amtrack services Winona from Chicago’s Union Station (approximately 5.5 hours)
  • Drive the Great River Road

Agenda (Working):

Wednesday, September 18
  • 2:30 – 4:30pm: MRPC Board of Directors Meeting
  • Minnesota Marine Art Museum Gallery5:30 – 8:00pm: Opening Night Welcome Reception at Minnesota Marine Art Museum (800 Riverview Drive, Winona) – Heavy hors d’oeuvres and education at galleries and pollinator garden
Thursday, September 19
  • 7:30am: New Member Orientation
  • 8:00am – 4:30pm: Plenary and Working Sessions, Lunch and Technical Committee Sessions
  • 5:30 – 9:00pm: Educational Field Session, Banquet and Awards at Winona County Historical Society
Friday, September 20
  • 7:00am: Breakfast and State Commission Meetings
  • 8:00 am – Noon: Plenary and Working Sessions

Topics and Speakers Include:

Keynote: Sarah Strommen, Commissioner, MN Department of Natural Resources

Panel – Keys to Effective Partnering for the Byway

Minnesota technical partner representatives will describe how they effectively partner with Minnesota’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission and each other to achieve common goals for the byway.


  • Forging mutually beneficial working relationships.
  • How to maximize the resources of the commission and those of the technical partner for measurable shared outcomes.
  • Having fun while working to bring more people to the River on the Great River Road!
Panel – Events that Build Regional Tourism for Great River Road Byway Communities

Hear from Minnesota communities that host or participate in events highlighting the arts and nature to draw visitors from a wide region, thereby boosting their local visitation and economies.


  • Arts and nature events can draw visitors to your community from a broad region.
  • Some events only require your participation.
  • New events can take time to become established.
Panel – The Growth of Outdoor Recreation and its Economic Impact on Winona, Minnesota

Winona stakeholders will discuss how a Minnesota river town came to embrace and enhance its outdoor assets through dreaming, planning, implementing, and promoting.


  • Byway communities of any size can maximize outdoor opportunities for the benefit of residents and visitors.
  • Outdoor Recreation activities and organizations show substantial economic impact year-round.
  • Collaborations across communities can enhance the feasibility and success of new outdoor recreation endeavors.
U.S Bike Route

Looking at steps ahead and what the designation brings

Operation Pollination

Learn more about efforts and how to get involved

Working with Great River Road Interpretive Centers

Improving communication and partnerships

Updates will be made to the agenda as speakers are confirmed.

National Office Contact Information


National MRPC Office
PO Box 7395
Madison, WI 53707-7395


Toll Free: 866-763-8310
E-mail: [email protected]