MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will receive a $290,000 grant from the National Park Service Semiquincentennial Grant Program for site enhancements at Lizard Mound State Park in Washington County.

The Semiquincentennial Grant Program commemorates the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. Created by Congress in 2020 and funded through the Historic Preservation Fund, this round of grants will support 17 cultural resource preservation projects across 12 states, including Lizard Mound in the Town of Farmington.

“We’re pleased to receive this federal grant for Lizard Mound State Park. The property is rich in cultural history. This funding will jumpstart enhancements to the site to balance archaeological protection with visitor amenities,” said Steve Schmelzer, Wisconsin State Park System Director.

The DNR will use the grant funds for preservation work on the property, including removing hazardous trees, controlling invasive plants and rerouting walking trails on the 32-acre property. The park holds one of the most well-preserved Native American effigy mound sites in the nation, with 28 Native American burial and effigy mounds constructed between 750 and 1250 AD. Effigy forms have been interpreted as representing spiritual and/or animal-like entities including bird, panther, water spirit and the park’s namesake lizard.

“National parks and National Park Service programs serve to tell an authentic and complete history, provide opportunities for exploring the legacies that impact us today and contribute to healing and understanding,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “Through the Semiquincentennial Grant Program, we are supporting projects that showcase the many places and stories that contributed to the evolution of the American experience.”

The DNR, in collaboration with tribal governments and the Wisconsin Historical Society, will work to educate the public and protect these exceptional archeological and cultural resources within the state. Learn more about Lizard Mound State Park here.

This project is supported through the Semiquincentennial Grant Program funded by the Historic Preservation Fund as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. Learn more here.

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