WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today introduced bipartisan legislation to establish national park status for Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. The Cahokia Mounds and Mississippian Culture National Historic Park would include mounds in Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe counties, as well as Sugarloaf Mound in St. Louis. The park would be jointly managed between the park service and local stakeholders.
“Southern Illinois is home to one of American history’s greatest civilizations,” said Bost. “Cahokia was the largest city and center of the ancient Mississippian people. Cahokia and the associated mounds sites in the region are a critical part of our history and incorporating them into our national park system will help us preserve this history for generations to come. I appreciate the dedication of HeartLands Conservancy and all of our state and local leaders who have been working tirelessly to make this effort a reality.”
One thousand years ago, Cahokia, “America’s First City,” was built by the Mississippians in Southern Illinois. The region was home to 10,000-20,000 people at its peak around 1200 A.D. Today, the Cahokia Mounds is a 2,200 acre state historic site made up of more than 70 mounds. Cahokia Mounds is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a National Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Currently, the site is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In 2018, the department announced support for national park status, and in May of 2019, the Illinois House of Representatives backed a resolution supporting this status as well.