An important part of economic development for our city is quality of life.

I mentioned earlier that La Crosse is rich in natural resources, which is the foundation of what makes this city so great to live, work and play in. From 2013-2015, I helped Ralph Heath and Marvin Wanders hold an annual summit to unite our community around our great outdoor recreational resources. From there, The Outdoor Recreation Alliance (ORA Trails - Outdoor Recreation Alliance) took off.

This “501c3 nonprofit established to create, enhance, and protect majestic trails within the Driftless region.”

I believe when it comes to attracting businesses and talent to our city, our outdoor recreation from the bluffs to the river banks is the key factor in why people come to La Crosse, but more importantly, why they stay. Since its inception, I’ve been proud to be a supporter. And I’m more proud to see how it has grown and developed.

Vicki Markussen


Founder, Engage Greater La Crosse