The DNR takes over the management of the mound of Native American effigies


The Department of Natural Resources will take over management of Lizard Mound County Park in Washington County. For more than 70 years, the property, home to one of Wisconsin’s many Native American effigy mounds, has been managed by the state. The DNR managed it from 1950 to 1980, when Washington County took over until the end of 2021.

Mounds of effigies are sacred sites connected to native tribes throughout the state. Sometimes used as burial mounds, nowhere are earthworks more numerous than in Wisconsin. Many are shaped like birds, bears, snakes, lizards or other animals. State law protects mounds; park-goers can visit the sites, but picnicking, littering, or walking on the mounds is not recommended. Visitors should also avoid digging into the ground on or around the mounds.

Lizard Mound is located in the town of Farmington. “The property is rich in our state’s cultural history and will join archaeological wonders across the state including Aztalan, Lost Duphin, Wyalusing, and Copper Culture, among others.”

The gate to the property will be physically closed until May 1, although visitors can still access the property by parking nearby and walking past the gate. Besides the mound, the area has hiking trails, picnic areas, an interpretive shelter, and other attractions. MNR will review the property to create a future management and development plan.

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