Hike service

DNR receives $290,000 grant from National Park Service

MADISON, Wis. — Lizard Mound State Park will soon receive some upgrades.

The National Park Service awarded the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources a $290,000 grant that will be used to improve the Washington County park.

The grant is part of the Semi-Quintennial Grant Program which commemorates the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.

“We are thrilled to receive this federal grant for Lizard Mound State Park. The property is rich in cultural history. This funding will kick-start site improvements to balance archaeological protection with visitor amenities,” said Wisconsin State Park System Manager Steve Schmelzer.

Some improvements to the 32-acre property will include removing dangerous trees, controlling invasive plants and rerouting walking paths.

This work will help better protect one of the nation’s best-preserved Native American effigy mound sites in the park. The site has 28 Native American burial mounds and burial mounds that were built between 750 and 1250 AD. The effigy forms are said to represent spirit or animal-like creatures, such as birds, panthers, water spirits, and the park’s namesake lizard.

Working with Tribal Environments and the Wisconsin Historical Society, DNR said it is working to educate the public and continue to protect Wisconsin’s exceptional archaeological and cultural resources. Now the National Park Service grant is helping them do just that.

“Through the Semi-Quintennial Grant Program, we support projects that highlight the many places and stories that have helped shape the evolution of the American experience,” said Chuck Sams, director of the National Park Service.

And for the National Park Service, that means telling authentic, comprehensive stories and providing opportunities to explore the legacies that continue to affect us today.

Wisconsin is not the only state to receive this round of grants. Created by Congress in 2020, the grant will support 17 cultural resource preservation projects in 12 states.