Don't miss what's happening in the Rushford Peterson Valley!
Photo by Peggi Redalen
Updating the Rushford Peterson Valley Guide
Our guidebooks developed and printed in 2015 are now gone--having been distributed to locations locally, regionally and statewide over the
last 15 months. We continue to receive requests for guid es from visitor centers around the state that have run out a nd  from prospective travelers interested in our area. Our city halls also give the guidebooks to new residents to help promote local goods and services. Plans have begun to update the guide with new photos and ensure the business directory is accurate.  Please click on the guidebook photo to review your listing.  If you are a new Chamber member since the guidebook was printed in April 2015, you will have a photo, website link and description in the new guidebook. Send updates to the Chamber by September 1.
Register today for 
"Roadside" Advertising in the Digital Age
Can people find our businesses, attractions and other places with a computer, a smartphone or GPS device? It's not enough to be in the
phone book any more. C ustomers and visitors use Google Maps, Mapquest and similar services--and most often on their smartphones--to get directions and adviceLocation-based mobile applications have revolutionized the way we find and choose places to shop, to eat, to fix a car - you name it. 

Attend the Roadside Advertising in the Digital Age workshop on Thursday, September 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Rushford Village Community Center. University of Minnesota Extension instructors will give us the tools and know-how to make a mark on the digital highway. Benefits of attending this workshop:
  • Understand how today's consumers use location-based services in everyday activities.
  • Learn how to place your business or organization on a variety of digital maps and how to maximize your digital map presence.
  • Make sure the available information about your business or organization is correct.
Due to support from the Rushford Economic Development Authority and Rushford Foods, the cost to register has been reduced to only $10/person to cover your lunch. Please email the Chamber to register today! 
More Chamber News

Marketing the Valley. Our billboard along I-90 near Onalaska has been moved to a new, much more visible location near Bangor. Due to the poor visibility of the billboard in its original location, the vendor also put our billboard on a digital display near West Salem for the month of July. The billboard was included in the Chamber's grant from Explore Minnesota, so nearly half the cost was covered by grant funds. The 2017 Explore Minnesota Grant will be due in early October, so contact the Chamber if you have ideas on marketing our valley. In related news, the Root River Trail Towns is participating in the 2017 Minnesota  Travel Guide with a 1/2 page ad and in the Explore Southern Minnesota magazine with a 1/3 page ad. Rushford and Peterson contributed to these ads with funds received from local lodging taxes. Through collaboration among the trail towns we are able to market our area in these statewide and regional travel publications.

Small Business Saturday. Although November 26 is three months away, the Chamber is gearing up for Small Business Saturday promotion. 
This national day encourages people to shop local, especially during the upcoming holiday season. This year, the Chamber would like to help local businesses with promoting sales and activities for Small Business Saturday. In addition to website, email and social media activities, we also hope to coordinate an Every Door Direct Mail flyer highlighting Small Business Saturday and the local businesses that will be open and participating with the day's activities. Please contact the Chamber if your business would like to participate.   
Trail Closure between Peterson & Rushford
The Root River Trail was closed beginning this past Monday for bridge work just east of Peterson. Two bridges are being replaced and work is expected to be completed the week of August 29. There is no detour around the bridge work as the decking will be completely removed and replaced.  The trail may open following the bridge work, but then trail repaving is expected to begin by a separate contractor the week of September 2. According to the MN Department of Natural Resources, the contract states the paving must be completed by November 11.  Signs have been posted on the trail regarding the closing, but please help spread the word. This project is much needed as the current surface is original to the trail's founding. Thanks to the MN DNR for investing in the trail's future. Despite the trail closure,  Taste of the Trail events are planned for September 10 in Peterson (with Lanesboro & Whalan) and September 24 in Rushford/Rushford Village (with Houston).
Peterson and Rushford Taste of the Trail Events
Root River Trail Towns' Taste of the Trail events will be held on these three September Saturdays from 10am-3pm: 
September 10 - Peterson, Whalan and Lanesboro
September 17 - Harmony, Preston and Fountain
September 24 - Houston, Rushford and Rushford Village

Your business or organization can be involved. For the September 24 event in Rushford/Rushford Village, centered at the Rushford Depot area, we're looking for businesses and organizations to:
  • offer a "sample" of your goods or services at the trail,
  • invite people to stop by your site,
  • organize an activity down at the trail, and/or
  • make a contribution towards the event (we're asking for $10 from area businesses or organizations to help cover some expenses such as marketing and musical entertainment--this year, the Misty Mountain Boys will perform from 11:30-2:30 at the Depot).
We appreciate all the support from our community during past Taste of the Trail events, and we hope you can join us again this year in supporting the event! 
A re-cap of the DNR's Rattlesnake Meeting
On July 20, DNR representatives invited the public to Rushford Village Hall to talk about reports of rattlesnakes in the area. Jaime Edwards, DNR non-game wildlife specialist out of Rochester, provided facts about rattlesnakes, habitat restoration, and reported sightings/interactions. She said the DNR had 49 calls in all of Southeast Minnesota in 2015 and so far, 15 calls to date in 2016. Of the 15 calls this year, three were in Rushford and two were confirmed rattlesnakes (the other snake moved on before its type could be confirmed). The Brooklyn neighborhood and up Money Creek Street/Dump Hill Road tend to be where most Rushford calls originate. Rattlesnakes have also been reported on the Root River Trail about two miles west of Rushford. 
Jaime Edwards with the MN DNR

Edwards said there are over 500 bluffs in Southeast Minnesota and it's believed rattlesnakes occupy 15-18% of the bluffs. Both Olson Bluff (just east of Tyrol Hills) and Rushford Bluff (with the star on top) are known to have dens. Male rattlesnakes will move up to two miles from the den, females up to one mile, and pregnant females up to one-quarter mile. Edwards commented that she has not seen a rattlesnake on Magelssen Bluff. She said the DNR has completed its habitat restoration work and has met its goals in the Rushford area. Their work is intended to keep the snakes on the bluffs.

The City of Rushford maintains a list of "rattlesnake responders" on its website, also available here. If you weren't able to attend the July 20 meeting and have questions about the DNR's activities, rattlesnakes or other wildlife, plan to stop by Taste of the Trail on September 24 at the Rushford Depot--Jaime Edwards will be present from 11-2 to share information about our area's unique bluffland prairies and their wild inhabitants-snakes included!
Business News

New owner at Trailside. The Harold Naber family sold the Trailside Campground to Paul Gee this
past spring. The campground located on the Root River Trail between Rushford and Peterson opened in 2012 and offers tent or RV sites 
with full hookups. Both seasonal and overnight sites are available. Please update contact information for Trailside with Paul's phone number: 507-429-5580.

Worksite wellness grants. Fillmore County Public Health can provide Workplace Grants through its Statewide Health Improvement Program funding. A public health representative is available to work with your worksite, at no charge, to develop wellness plans and make changes related to tobacco-free spaces, breastfeeding support, healthy eating and/or active living. Grants of up to $3,000 are available per worksite for employee wellness. Whether you're an employer of 1 or 101, the plans and resulting activities can help with employee health and wellness.  Check out this link and contact  Brenda Pohlman at  507-765-2636  or via  email  to learn more.

Employer Guides available. Winona Workforce Development now has the 2016 version of An Employer's Guide to Employment Law Issues In Minnesota. Guides can be picked up at the Winona WorkForce Center, 1250 Homer Road or call Vicky Koehn at 507-205-6062 to have a copy delivered/mailed.  This "must have" resource is free and every business should have at least one copy!
Area Events
First Saturday Every Month, 8-10am
Mason's Pancake Breakfast
Mystic Star Masonic Lodge
Wednesdays, 4-6:30pm
Rushford Peterson Valley Farmers' Market
Rushford Depot Park

First Wednesday Every  Month, 7pm
Lions Club Meeting
Rushford American Legion
August 18-21
Cushon's Peak Campground
September 10, 10am-3pm
Taste of the Trail
Peterson, Whalan, Lanesboro
September 10, 4-7:30pm
Ham & Chicken Supper
St. John's Lutheran Church

September 24, 10am-3pm
Taste of the Trail
Rushford/Rushford Village, Houston
September 25, 9am-4pm
Rushford Airport
October 8
Rushford Peterson Valley

October 22, 9am-3pm
Rushford Arts & Crafts Fair
R-P High School

Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce
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