GENOA, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- The Genoa National Fish Hatchery is expanding the way they educate the public about how they preserve wildlife, with the addition of The Great River Road Interpretive Center.
"We have lots of school groups and outdoor classroom activities where we have curriculum developed to talk about the natural resources and the importance of conservation to save them for future generations," said Doug Aloisi, the hatchery manager.
The center will do more than just teach visitors about the conservation efforts of the hatchery, it will tell the story of the Native Americans who used to inhabit this region.
"Specifically the Battle of Bad Axe, which occurred just south of the hatchery," Aloisi said. "It was actually the last battle between Native Americans and the European Settlers, east of the Mississippi and it happened in 1832."
To honor the history, members of the Sauk and Fox Nation attended the groundbreaking and will help design the exhibit for the interpretive center.
"I get goosebumps," said Sandra Massey, a historical preservation officer for Sauk and Fox Nation. "This has always been a homeland so we've never lost the feelings that we have for this place but it's important that now we have a partnership with somebody."
The total cost of the project is $2.7 million. A federal scenic byway grant will pay for $1.7 million, some of the other funds are coming from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The center will take about a year and a half to complete.
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