Sylvan Township awards Minnesota Historical Society grant

Invaluable, centuries-old cultural resources will get a closer look under a new study funded by the Minnesota Historical Society.


On April 1, 2021 Sylvan Township awarded the contract for the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Cultural Literature Review and Report to Nienow Cultural Consultants LLC. Invaluable, centuries-old cultural resources in the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape (CRSL) area will get a closer look under a new study funded by the Minnesota Historical Society. This award begins that process with Dr. Jeremy Nienow, Ph.D., RPA the Principal Investigator and team of cultural resource professionals gathering data from the region.

“Nienow Cultural Consultants LLC (NCC) is pleased to be working with Sylvan Township on this innovative, large-scale grant project," Nienow said. "Based in the greater Twin Cities area, NCC is a group of professional archaeologists and historians collectively working to complete a wide variety of consultation projects. Many of their projects are publicly oriented and they have worked on dozens of Legacy Grant awards over the past several years.”

The goal of this project is to more fully understand and appreciate the cultural elements which make up the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape program area to foster better awareness, interpretation and protection of cultural sites within the CRSL. Work on this grant will involve gathering detailed information about known archaeological sites and historic standing structures within the project area by working with state agencies and visiting local historical societies. As this information grows, it will be

built into a GIS database, allowing researchers and land managers to identify areas where future development could impact important archaeological and historic spaces. NCC hopes to make the database as inclusive as possible with information from the 1950s stretching back to 10,000 years ago. Sites of local, state, and national significance will all be treated equally as well as locations of Euro American and Native American importance.

Interested avocational archaeologists and historians, and other members of the public, who may have information about the project area are encouraged to contact NCC's Principal Investigator, Jeremy Nienow at j


January 27th, 2021, Sylvan Township in Cass County, Minnesota published a Request for Proposals to hire a consultant to conduct a comprehensive archaeological and historic literature assessment of the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape, an 805,000 acre area in a ten mile radius around Camp Ripley Military Reservation. The purpose of this large project is to gather information about known and suspected sites that tell the story of the region’s history.

On December 1, 2020, Sylvan Township accepted an award of $130,000 from the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program. Source funding for this grant was the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund administered by the Minnesota Historical Society. The purpose of the grant is to contract a comprehensive literature review of cultural resources and mapping of the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape (CRSL) to include parts of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, and Todd Counties.

The CRSL partnership is supporting Sylvan Township in the development and administration of this grant project with a goal of bringing greater cultural awareness, protection and management to significant cultural sites. The 805,000-acre CRSL project area represents many river confluences and geologic corridor features vital to human communities since the last glacial period in Minnesota.

This project is made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.

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