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A Visit from Will Dilg

May 4 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A Visit from Will Dilg

Tickets $10 in advance at Music Mart (formerly Hardt’s Music) until May 3 at 5:00pm or Eventbrite until May 4 at 3:00pm.
Coffeehouse & gallery open at 6:30pm
Buy Tickets Online

Steven Marking plays Will Dilg in an inspiring multimedia presentation, A Visit From Will Dilg. In the early 1920’s Will Dilg’s only son drowned in the Mississippi River. Dilg rose up from the depths of depression and mourning to become a tireless, fanatic firebrand – leading an extraordinary national crusade to form the Izaak Walton League and save a 261 mile stretch of Mississippi River Backwaters we now know as the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. While his life was cut short, his accomplishments are still legendary, and we all will benefit by hearing from him on the 100th Anniversary of the Refuge, which is in 2024.

A Visit From Will Dilg was created by Steven Marking for the Centennial celebration of our Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The script relies heavily on Dilg’s own published words. Images and film clips of the glories of the refuge are the stars of the show. As the story unfolds as told by Dilg, we are constantly reminded of the things that were saved – the plants, the animals, the birds, the fish, and the scenery.

By the 1020’s river land reclamation, or the filling in of floodplain wetlands, was at its peak in our countries history. Ground zero for the battle was the Winneshiek Bottoms near Lansing, Iowa, which was already legally permitted to be leveed off, drained and filled to create farmlands. Dilg took the loss of wetlands and the fish and wildlife that went with it personally and started the battle against reclamation by forming a national coalition of outdoorsmen called The Izaak Walton League. In less than one year they pushed federal legislation through congress to form the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. This saved a large portion of our Upper Mississippi River lands from development, and more than 4 million people visit and enjoy the refuge every year today. It is the largest contiguous floodplain habitat in our nation.

Winona Arts Center activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


May 4
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Winona Arts Center
228 East 5th Street
Winona, MN 55987 United States
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