Garden Tour with Hike & Stargazing to offer Rare Glimpse of Ridgetop Wonders



Mississippi Valley Conservancy celebrates Wisconsin Land Trust Days with event to be held at FSPA Villa St. Joseph

The popular Villa grounds tour with ridgetop hike and stargazing will again be offered by Mississippi Valley Conservancy, in partnership with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA) and the La Crosse Area Astronomical Society, on Saturday, September 8, 2018. Located at Villa St. Joseph on St. Joseph’s Ridge, this hike is part of the 2018 “Linked to the Land” series of outdoor activities sponsored by Mayo Clinic Health System–Franciscan Healthcare of La Crosse.

This annual event offers a family-friendly experience with the unique opportunity to visit the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Villa property and enjoy the views and night skies of the ridgetop. The event is the only public tour of the property each year.

Participants who tour the beautiful, private hilltop property will learn about the organic horticulture techniques that produce thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables for the Sisters. Sister Lucy, who was featured on CNN, will discuss their gardening techniques and take attendees through their gardens. She will also show their new state of the art greenhouse. After the garden tour, a guide from Mississippi Valley Conservancy will lead a hike of this unique and peaceful land to the overlook during the spectacular sunset hour. Members of the La Crosse Area Astronomical Society will point out highlights of the night sky after sunset.

What to bring (optional):

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and snacks to enjoy while relaxing on the grounds before stargazing begins. Attendees are also encouraged to bring their own telescopes and binoculars for enjoyment of the spectacular ridgetop views.

Detailed schedule:

               4:00 – 4:30          Greenhouse

               4:30 – 5:45         Garden Tour

               6:00 – 7:30          Hikes of the property

               7:45 – 9:30          Stargazing

Directions:  From La Crosse take Hwy 33 east to St. Joseph’s Ridge. The Villa is at the end of town.  Please park in the parking lot that is just past the Villa on the left, watch for Mississippi Valley Conservancy signs.  Please do not pull in and park in the actual Villa parking lot.

WHAT: Garden Tour with Hike and Stargazing
WHEN: Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Villa St. Joseph on St. Joseph’s Ridge

RSVP’s are appreciated for this free event. Please send your RSVP by email to or call 784-3606 ext. 6