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Nitschke Mounds Care Days - Seeks Additional Volunteers

Dec 02, 2017 02:58PM ● Published by Jim

Gallery: Nitsche Mounds Care Project [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

By:  Kurt Sampson MS RPA

Director and Curator of Museum – Dodge County Historical Society
Principal Archaeologist-Gathering Waters Archaeology, LLC

NITSCHKE MOUND PROJECT DETAILS: 

14 ancient burial mounds and the sacred site at Nitschke Mounds County Park need our care.

This resumption of mound care work is a continuation of the work that Don Gehrke and many others have started and completed over many years since the mounds became a county park in 2003. These effigy, linear, and conical mounds are part of the back, northern 1/3 of the Nitschke Mound Site in Dodge County WI. Situated in a Dodge County Park called Nitschke Mounds County Park.

This mound site is located at N5934 County Road E Burnett Township. About 3 miles west of Horicon on County Road E.

The Dodge County Parks Department has given me (Kurt A. Sampson) permission to conduct ongoing mound care work days to help remove vegetation off of these 14 mounds and to provide a protective buffer zone within the guidelines of the WI Burial Sites Protection Act. 157.7. We will also follow the mound care guidelines established in WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES BURIALS, EARTHWORKS, AND MOUNDS PRESERVATION POLICY & PLAN ( May 2008)

All work will be under the guidance of myself (Kurt A. Sampson - A professional archaeologist.) and Dodge County Parks Department managers (Bill Ellenbeck, Dan Schultz- Foreman, Mike Simons- Crew Leader) and other people who have extensive experience in mound care projects.

Training and site overview will be provided each working care day.

Volunteer hours will be logged and submitted to the Dodge County Parks Department. This will be done by me (Kurt A. Sampson).

Money need for equipment, beverages, and in some cases lunches will be provided by the Effigy Mounds Initiative by donation. All those wishing to work will do so at their own risk, but guidelines and oversight of work area projects will be supervised by myself and Dodge County Park’s department staff at all times.

I'm seeking volunteers who would like to help care for these mounds on a continual basis starting this fall. This project will take a few years of hard work to complete, mound by mound. These remaining 14 mounds are heavily overgrown.

This work will involve the following things:

1. Cutting down and removal of woody vegetation off these mounds without sub-surface ground disturbance of any kind. Possible chemical treatment of invasive plant species if warranted by the Dodge County Parks Department.

2. Providing a 5 to 10 foot buffer zone to each mound (when applicable) with the removal of vegetation in these areas too, accept for trees marked by the Dodge County Parks Department that will be saved to provide tree cover by mounds; which in turn helps to control invasive species of plants from cropping up.

3. Seeding these mounds by hand with a cover of prairie grass mixture seeds which will grow to provide erosional control for the mounds.

4. Dragging on large tarps all the removed vegetation and tree debris to close by designated burn piles. Monitoring said burn piles as well.

5. Following up all these practices listed above on a season basis, and monitoring vegetation issues that may arise.

6. Seasonal controlled burns of the Nitschke Mound Site as directed by the Dodge County Parks Department.

I will be compiling a list of volunteers to email on a needed basis for work days that will come up. This type of work is best done when the leaf vegetation is down off the trees and bushes, and the ground becomes firm during the late fall and early winter. This minimizes the impact to working on and near the mounds. Also there are no bugs. All tools and equipment will be provided. But if volunteers can help provide their own cutting and lopping tools that would be of help.

We ask that volunteers dress appropriately for working in the woods in cool and cold weather; and bring a pair of good work gloves, and wear a good pair of ankle sturdy boots. Please bring Eye protection glasses if you have them. Eye protection glasses will be provided to those that might not have them. Chainsaws will only be used by experienced, trained individuals who will wear protective clothing. We will work on one mound at a time and work from west to east until they are all cleared off and properly cared for. This may take a few years of seasonal work.

If you are interested in this volunteer work, please send me an email at: kurtsampson68@gmail.com.

Several work dates are being considered at this time. I will post these on here and email these dates to the interested parties I hear from. With a good size group we can make significant care gains on this site. 

These are all Sundays and do not conflict with Packer Game times as well due to late game starts, a bye week, and playing on Thursday Night and Monday Night instead of Sunday. Hey I love the Packers as much as the next person. But I am willing to sacrifice a convenient Sunday if there are Sundays that work better for others. I can always tape the games and watch them later right? 

Here are a few dates to consider:

First actual care day was: Sunday, October 29th starting at 9:00 AM.

Next Care days will be: Sunday, December 3rd starting at 9:00AM.

Notices will be sent out prior to these care days to confirm them.

We possibly could work into December too if the weather permits with lack of snow and it’s not too cold. We will see what Mother Nature has for us then. 

I also have off on Mondays and Tuesdays. People that might be available during these week days would be welcome to join me on those days in the next couple of months too. . I will email and post the days on Mondays and Tuesdays when I can be out there. But if you’re available let me know right away. 

Typically we would begin work in the morning and work for as long as people are able and willing. No one is required to do more than they want or stay for a designated duration of time. This is again, strictly Volunteer work. 

Work would begin as early as 9:00 AM for those that can be out there earlier in the morning.
My cell phone number is 414-405-4367. You can call ahead to make sure we are on site and how long we might stay. 

I will let everyone know through emails, well in advance what days we will work and the general time frame I will be out there. 

If you wish to be removed from receiving these emails about the Nitschke Mounds Care Project let me know and I will remove you. 

For those of you that are still interested please look at the date’s list above and let me know what days might work for you. Even the next 3 months of Mondays and Tuesday too if your available on those week days. 

Work will be weather dependent of course. If it is totally raining or we get significant snow early on we won’t work. 

Again, people with eye protection and cutting tools are encouraged to bring their own to help. And please wear boots and dress for the weather.
Any questions let me know.

Thanks-
Contact me if you can make it: 

Kurt Sampson MS RPA
Director and Curator of Museum – Dodge County Historical Society
Principal Archaeologist-Gathering Waters Archaeology, LLC
Board Member-
Wisconsin Archeological Society
Principal- Effigy Mounds Initiative
414-405-4667
Kurtsampson68@gmail.com

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