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Contact: Jim LaRock, 507-825-5464
Pipestone National Monument’s project to create new interpretive and educational media was included in the eligible list along with 115 other parks in 40 states to receive matching funds from Congress in FY2008, beginning October 1. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar made the announcement on August 23.
This project is made possible with a pledge of matching funds from the Friends of Pipestone National Monument and the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association totaling $30,000 with a $30,000 match from the National Park Service.
Superintendent Jim LaRock said, “We are honored and delighted to be included in this inaugural list of Centennial projects as funding moves forward through Congress. If it weren’t for the generosity of the newly formed Friends of Pipestone National Monument and the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association, we wouldn’t have made the project list. Partners are key to helping parks initiate new and exciting projects.”
"The project will really enhance visitor experience and education at the park," said Chuck Draper, chairperson of the Friends group. "We were organized to help the park, so this is just the kind of project we are anxious to be working for."
Mike Morgan, Shrine executive director added, “The board decided to support this project because it will add another dimension of visitor enjoyment as well as outstanding learning opportunities about the park.”
The project will add a virtual visit component to the park website, and add visitor friendly computer stations where cultural and natural resource databases can be viewed. Additionally, electronic story telling devices will be developed for the Circle Trail, and books and monographs will be professionally written and include photographs to tell the story of the quarries, pipemakers, geology, first people, explorers, early pioneers, and petroglyphs.
Pipestone National Monument may also benefit from Congressional support for flexible park base project funding in FY2008. The Monument is in line to receive funding to restore 18 acres of tall grass prairie and exotic plant control. Funding would supplement and accelerate progress on controlling invasive species. The President’s FY2008 budget also calls for additional funding to bolster basic park operations. This would result in the Monument hiring one additional seasonal maintenance worker next summer.