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National News / Travel

Thursday, 22 July 2010 7:29 P.M.

For an educational trip, visit the Cave of the Mounds natural landmark in Wisconsin

Photo credit: Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark & www.caveofthemounds.com. All rights reserved.

Summer Entrance Sign

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

BLUE MOUNDS, Wis. -- What contribution The Cave of The Mounds has made to the world and why? "In 1988, Cave of the Mounds was designated a National Natural Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service," said Joe Klimczak, the park's general manager. In receiving this honor, Cave of the Mounds was recognized as "a site which possesses exceptional value as an illustration of the nation’s natural heritage and contributes to a better understanding of man’s environment."

The National Natural Landmark designation is made by the Secretary of the Interior after in-depth scientific study of a potential site. The selection process is rigorous: to be considered for National Natural Landmark status, a site must be one of the best examples of a natural region’s characteristic biotic or geologic features. Cave of the Mounds is a natural limestone cave and is exemplary of this type of solution cave which forms as part of a karst landscape, such as is found in southwestern Wisconsin. What makes Cave of the Mounds special is the quantity and quality of its many speleothems, and the extraordinary colors left behind by minerals naturally present in the rock. Cave of the Mounds is often referred to as the "jewel box" of America’s major caves because of the variety, color and delicacy of its formations.

Our National Natural Landmark plaque is prominently displayed on the Cave Entrance Building. Cave of the Mounds is proud to be a participant in the National Natural Landmark Program. We are committed to the preservation of this unique geologic formation and the land which surrounds it, and we encourage visitors to come experience some of the most beautiful show caving in the Midwest!

In your opinion, how was it important to have The Cave of The Mounds discovered just near the end of the Great Depression? What would have happen if it was discovered during this economic recession, or would it made a difference at all?

"I don’t think that the economic conditions would have made for a significant difference the development of the Cave of the Mounds," Klimczak explained. "There is an interesting tie in to the great depression. There was a edict that the road contractors should use the local farm quarries rather than the big operations in order to get some money to the farmers who were struggling."

How are you going to make this fun and educational for both adults and children of all ages?

"We have a variety of activities planned. Here is a description of the event: Help us Celebrate 70 years of Cave Tours through Wisconsin's Oldest Classroom! Explore the Cave just as the first explorers did back in '39 - with flashlights! Discovery Tours are offered all weekend for adventurers of all ages! FREE activities for the kids include make-n-take crafts, face painting & gemstone mining - where learning about rocks and minerals is FUN! Special exhibits and demonstrations include a visit to the Barn Discovery Center providing an in-depth look at caves, Wisconsin rocks & fossils, and Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Enjoy our Interpretive Trail System or take a walk through time on our NEW Geologic Timeline! Enjoy delicious snacks at our snack bar! Hours of fun for the whole family await at Wisconsin's favorite National Natural Landmark!"

Do you think it was important to have this annual event just weeks before the start of the school year? Why or why not?

"This event is the anniversary of the discovery of the cave, so we did not decide when to have it and the school schedule had no bearing," Klimczak added.

Will this be a one-time event or will it be around all year long?

"This is an annual event. However, the Cave of the Mounds is a great time to visit at any time of the year."

Where can people find information on The Cave of The Mounds?

Our web site is the best place, or they can call or write. Here is the contact information: Visit www.caveofthemounds.com or call 608-437-3038 or write to Cave of the Mounds, P.O. Box 148, 2975 Cave of the Mounds Road, Blue Mounds, WI 53517-0148.

 

Photo credit: Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark & www.caveofthemounds.com. All rights reserved.

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Photo credit: Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark & www.caveofthemounds.com. All rights reserved.

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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