I moved to southwest Wisconsin a bit less than a year ago. In preparing for the move, I did some research into the region and was intrigued by the funny place names; the Driftless, Coulee Region, the Kickapoo River. The name that consistently invokes the most raised eyebrows by outsiders is definitely that of the river. Kickapoo is an Algonquian Indian word meaning “one who goes here, then there”, a fitting name for the crooked river.
It has been on this funny little river that I’ve spent many weekends this summer. The most recent one included a bit of community service as a group of friends came together to gather trash from the river banks and test the water quality. Valley Stewardship Network, a local non-profit, was kind enough provide us with an educational presentation before our float down the river, as well as the water testing supplies.
Overall, water quality within the Kickapoo Watershed is generally high. There are brown, brook and rainbow trout that call the river home, as well as many species of birds and mammals. It is a beautiful river in Driftless Wisconsin and was my pleasure to clean it a bit so others can appreciate it as much as I have since moving here last fall.