Kickapoo Valley Reserve Receives Grant to Improve Visitor Center Exhibits | Local News

The Kickapoo Valley Preserve has become a destination in the Driftless region. Nearly 20,000 people visit the Visitor Center building each year, and more than 5,000 school-aged children participate in educational programs.

The current educational exhibits are nearly 20 years old. Updating the exhibits will amplify their educational value so that the story of KVR’s unique environmental, historical and cultural stories can be told in an interactive and engaging way.

The enhanced exhibit space will allow KVR to continue to support the local economy by attracting large numbers of visitors to the area and instilling in them a greater appreciation of our local resources. In part, with the support of a $10,000 grant from Wisconsin Humanities, the exhibits will be designed to have more in-depth, interactive, and changing displays.

Over the past two years, KVR staff, Ho-Chunk Nation and numerous volunteers have worked closely with a design team to develop content for the newly designed exhibit space.

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The Visitor Center exhibits will be under construction and closed to the public throughout the 2022 summer season, with the project expected to be completed and reopened in September.

The reservation has a unique management structure, where a state entity jointly manages public lands with a sovereign tribe.

Through a federally and state-recognized memorandum of understanding and joint management plan, the reserve is comprised of 7,400 acres of state-owned land and 1,200 acres held in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Ho-Chunk Nation. . The lands of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve should be protected, preserved and enhanced so that its unique environmental, scenic and cultural features provide opportunities for use and enjoyment by visitors to the reserve.

The reserve is promoted as a unique example of the Drift-Free Zone ecoregion and as a destination for low-impact tourism and education.

Wisconsin Humanities supports projects that strengthen the roots of community life through educational and cultural programs that inspire civic participation and individual imagination. Supported in part by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and its A More Perfect Union initiative and the State of Wisconsin. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Additional information on this project is available at:

James C. Tibbs