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Interpretive Center Construction Begins in Earnest
Midwest Region, May 19, 2014
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Dirtwork and grading being accomplished for the GRRIC
Dirtwork and grading being accomplished for the GRRIC - Photo Credit: FWS photo

April means not only the lifting of road weight restrictions in most of Wisconsin, but it also means the beginning of construction season for much of the northland. At the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, it also means years of planning are coming to fruition with the construction of the Great River Road Interpretive Center at the hatchery site.

The Great River Road Interpretive Center is one of a series of visitor contact centers for travelers that use the National Scenic Byway that bisects the hatchery, State Highway 35. The Wisconsin Great River Road is a 250 mile drive winding through 33 river towns and is Wisconsin's only designated National Scenic Byway. The road runs along the Mississippi River through some of Wisconsin's oldest and most historic communities. The scenery features stunning bluffs with scenic overlooks, a variety of wildlife, and beautiful countryside along the river.

The hatchery received a grant in 2010 through the National Scenic Byways Program to build a visitor contact center that would interpret the intrinsic value of the Upper Mississippi River. The center will focus on the history of conservation in the region, and discuss the river's value from prehistoric time to the present. The center will also have an exhibit on the battle of Bad Axe, the last conflict east of the Mississippi River between Native Americans, and the United States Army.

Groundbreaking for the Center began this April with Pangea Group from St. Louis Missouri acquiring the bid. A local company, St. Joseph Construction has begun moving dirt and installing retaining walls in preparation for the actual building construction. Projected building completion is estimated to be the fall of 2015, with a grand opening ceremony anticipated for the spring of 2016.


Contact Info: Doug Aloisi, 608-689-2605, Doug_Aloisi@fws.gov



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