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Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Sturgeon Coming Home Place - 7gen

Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Sturgeon Coming Home Place

Sectors

Community Indigenous

Locations

Keshena, Wisconsin

Services

Architecture

Located near the Menominee Nation Logging Camp & Cultural Museum, a mile-long walking trail, park pavilion, restrooms, playground and interpretive signage were designed to seamlessly extend the museum experience outdoors. A central pavilion will serve as the heart of the site, designed to mimic a traditional wigwam. It will accommodate up to 80 people.

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin retained Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering (7GAE) to design a new 37-acre nature park centered around a historic waterfall in Keshena. The site is an outdoor addition to the Tribe’s Logging Camp & Cultural Museums and will host educational, recreational and ceremonial activities.

7GAE designed the park to include cultural elements central to the Menominee Indian Tribe, known as the People of the Wild Rice. The park will feature a mile-long walking trail, pavilion, restrooms, playground and interpretive signage. The walking trails will promote health and wellness and increase opportunities for physical activity in a safe environment.

Five unique clan markers and educational signage will be arranged along the walking path to tell the story of the Menominee people. The trails are designed to be circuitous, mimicking the twists and turns of the Wolf River and offer viewing opportunities for a more intimate experience with nature. The trails will also celebrate the Tribe’s relationship to the river and to the sturgeon that swim in these waters.

Sturgeon are culturally integral to the Menominee people. Before the implementation of dams, sturgeon would travel 135 miles from Keshena Falls down the Wolf River to Lake Winnebago, however, they have been absent for the last hundred years. The Tribe has been working to repopulate the area below the waterfalls, allowing sturgeon to spawn in their natural habitat. The park will be designed to celebrate this ecological renewal while creating a place for the Menominee community to gather. A central pavilion will serve as the heart of the site, designed to mimic a traditional wigwam. It will accommodate up to 80 people.

Linked land depressions will form a bioswale that will serve to slow runoff and filter it before reaching the Wolf River. Bridges over these bioswales will connect the parking lot and pavilion area.

An existing powerhouse in the river will be replaced with a new fixed crest dam to help maintain conditions for the growth of wild rice in the area. In addition, a boardwalk, designed to preserve area wetlands, will be positioned close to the waterfall, which is considered the “heartbeat” of the river. The boardwalk will provide several viewing platforms.

Because of the historical significance and ecological sensitivity of the site, minimizing the impact of construction activities to the land, river and waterfall were a priority for the client.

Steve VandenBussche, AIA, LEED AP

Principal-in-Charge

Scott Winchester, AIA, NCARB

Tribal Liason

Alex Hokkanen, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Assoc.

Project Manager

Shawn Lettow, Assoc. AIA

Project Designer

Providing a place of healing and restoration.

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