The Friends of Aztalan State Park volunteer organization is excited to announce that proposed architectural plans for a much needed visitor center at Aztalan State Park have been completed and will be displayed and discussed at a fund raiser for the planned facility between 1:00 and 3:30 PM at the Fargo Public Library in downtown Lake Mills. Aztalan State Park, near Lake Mills, encloses the famous ancient town of Aztalan, the 900 year old northern outpost of the spectacular Mississippian civilization that arose in southern Illinois around the prehistoric city of Cahokia. Aztalan has been designated a National Historic Landmark and has been attracting thousands of visitors from around the United States and many foreign countries as well school groups throughout the region coming to learn about Native American history.
The proposed visitor center will greatly enhance visitor experience and attract thousands of new visitors that studies indicate will bring over one million dollars into the local economy annually as visitors use area accommodations, restaurants, and many other businesses.
The architectural design was created by Dimension IV of Madison and funded by a Wisconsin DNR Stewardship grant that was matched by Aztalan patron Elizabeth Parker of Milwaukee. Elizabeth has been matching all donations for the visitor center project over the last several years from trusts of George S. Parker II (Parker Pen Corp.). Maas Brothers Construction of Watertown will be the construction manager for the new facility.
The fund raiser will also highlight reports by archaeologists from several major universities that detail recent discoveries at both Aztalan and nearby Lake Koshkonong that have increased our understanding of life at Aztalan and its role in the ancient past of the region. Selected artifacts will be displayed. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be also be served.
The event is free, but since several hundred thousand dollars still need to be raised for construction, visitors are urged to make generous contributions that will be matched dollar for dollar by Elizabeth Parker. All donations will be permanently acknowledged at the new visitor center. Those who cannot attend, or prefer to make a donation prior to the event, may use the online donation form at our secure Paypal website
For more information, contact Bob Birmingham, Executive Director of the Friends of Aztalan State Park, at (608) 241-4958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.