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Nitschke Mounds Care Day At The Park

Mar 11, 2018 06:51PM ● Published by Jim

Gallery: Nitschke Mounds - Horicon [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By:  Kurt Sampson - Principal Archaeologist-Gathering Waters Archaeology, LLC

HI all, Coming up on Sunday, March 18th I am planning another Nitschke Mounds Care day at the park.  Weather permitting. Work times are 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Volunteer anytime during this time frame or come all day.  

This work at Nitschke Mounds County Park is a continuation of the work that was first initiated by the late Don Gehrke of Horicon, Wisconsin and many area volunteers of the Rock River Archaeological Society (A chapter of the Wisconsin Archeological Society.) beginning in 2003. 

The mounds that need initial care include 14 effigy, linear, and conical mounds that are part of the back, northern 1/3 of the Nitschke Mound Site in Dodge County WI.

The Dodge County Parks Department granted permission to conduct ongoing mound care work days to help remove vegetation off of these14 mounds and to provide a protective buffer zone within the guidelines of the WI Burial Sites Protection Act. 157.7. 

We are following the mound care guidelines established in WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES BURIALS, EARTHWORKS, AND MOUNDS PRESERVATION POLICY & PLAN ( May 2008); and those established by the Dodge County Parks Department Manager Bill Ehlenbeck.      

All work has been under the guidance of Kurt A. Sampson and Dodge County Parks Department managers (Bill Ellenbeck, Dan Schultz- Foreman, and Mike Simons- Crew Leader) 

Several hundred volunteer hours have been logged and submitted to the Dodge County Parks Department already by the work of numerous volunteers.  

Money needed for equipment, beverages, and in some cases light lunches have been provided by the Effigy Mounds Initiative by donation. We usually bring a dish or snack to pass. And the traditional mounds candy bars are handed out. 

These are the immediate goals of this next mounds care project: 

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

We will not be cutting this time unless I can secure at least 12-15 volunteers for this work day. We need to concentrate on getting the remaining already cut branches and debris off the site to the burning area that is already left out there.. This includes using the two wheel barrels to remove the cut stumps and log sections. 

Already cut fire wood can be taken by anyone who wants it and volunteer.  

This type of work is best done now that the ground is still firm and or frozen. This minimizes the impact to working on and near the mounds. 

This mounds care project is expected to take a few years of seasonal work.

If you are interested in this volunteer work, please send me an email at
Several work dates are being considered at this time for the early spring of 2018. 

These work dates are posted on the Effigy Mounds Initiative and Wisconsin Archeological Society Facebook pages. 

This mound site is located at N5934 County Road E Burnett Township. About 3 miles west of Horicon on County Road E. 
let me know if you can make or are interested to help and want to learn more. 


Kurt Sampson MS RPA
Director and Curator of Museum – Dodge County Historical Society
Principal Archaeologist-Gathering Waters Archaeology, LLC
Board Member-Wisconsin Archeological Society

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