This spring, Marilyn Chesnik, co-owner of Wild River Outfitters in Grantsburg and Clean Wisconsin member, contacted us with an idea: She wanted to sell Clean Wisconsin water bottles at her business. As a way to replace plastic bottles, she wanted to save on resources and spread the word about Clean Wisconsin. I caught up with Marilyn mid-summer to learn more about her business and how this idea came about.
Jenny Lynes: Tell me a little bit about your business.
Marilyn Chesnik: We are a canoe and kayak rental and shuttle service Upper St. Croix and Namekagon rivers in the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway Park. We bought it in 1990 because my husband always wanted to own a business. It was already established at the time, but we’ve owned it the longest and grown it the most.
JL: Why do you donate to Clean Wisconsin?
MC: We believe in what you’re doing. We’re very concerned with the environment, my husband and I. We try to do some educating with our customers. We teach them about pack it in and pack it out, recycling, and give them bags. Clean Wisconsin is very much geared toward what we believe in.
JL: Do you have one particular environmental issue you care about the most?
MC: No, there isn’t just one. There are too many we need to be concerned about. Water is important because we have a business on the water. We are very fortunate that our river stretch is so pristine, but the Lower St. Croix is in trouble.
JL: Do you have any advice to people who what to be more involved in environmental issues?
MC: Get yourself educated on what’s really the issue and not what they’re telling us in mainstream news. […] Become aware and start small. We have always recycled forever. Things like that.
JL: How did you get the idea to sell the waterbottles?
I was reading an article about water and just thought it would be a neat idea. I was also talking to my niece about it […] and she was talking about the importance of […] trying to get people to collaborate in programs regarding environmental issues. Then I thought, ‘Why don’t we stay local?’ and picked Clean Wisconsin.
Learn more about Wild River Outfitters at www.wildriverpaddling.com.
If you are interested in a partnership like this for your business,
please contact Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.