Genoa’s New Environmental Education Specialist


Hello, my name is Erica Rasmussen and I am the new Environmental Education Specialist at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery. I am extremely excited for this opportunity and would encourage you all to stop by the Great River Road Interpretive Center and introduce yourself if you are in the area!

Ava, Erica, Easton and Kurt hiking Devils Tower in Wyoming. Photo: Erica Rasmussen USFWS






My husband, Kurt and I moved to the La Crosse area in 2006 and instantly fell in love with the area. We spent our weekends exploring the Mississippi River backwaters and hiking the beautiful bluffs. I now have two children, daughter Ava and son Easton, and a black lab named Lily. We love the outdoors and spend our free time hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting together. I have been a teacher in the La Crosse School District for the past 14 years. I have a double major in Special Education and Regular Education at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I also have a master’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

For the past 11 years, I have been taking my classes to the hatchery for many outdoor educational experiences such as helping out with their garden, planting milkweed, trail walks, identifying animal tracks in the snow and mud, learning about furbearing mammals and about the history of the area. The recently constructed Interpretive Center offers tons of new learning opportunities for my class. I truly believe that these field trips provided the most memorable learning opportunities for the students and offered me the opportunity to share my passion for the outdoors and environmental education.

I now get to share my that passion  with a wide range of audiences on a daily basis while working at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery! I started this new position in June and the days are flying by. Please understand, I still consider myself a teacher, but my classroom now encompasses 155 acres, 20 ponds, and the Great River Road Interpretive Center! I have already gotten to meet wonderful people from all over the country. Please stop on by for a tour or to explore the Great River Road Interpretive Center. We are currently open from 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday. There is also a beautiful gift shop available from 11-3pm as well. I hope to see you soon! By: Erica Rasmussen