LOST MOUND CORPS OF DISCOVERY
In 1805 Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery began documenting the natural landscape it traversed in search of the Northwest Passage. Flash forward two centuries to Northwest Illinois. The Lost Mound Corps of Discovery is a group of local residents trained by the Illinois Natural History Survey in photography, sketch journaling and descriptive writing. Our mission is to use these skills to document "over one or more years" the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish refuge at Lost Mound.
Statistics alone do not convey the essence of this place. This is a magical place, one where spider webs are strung among the grasses like pearl necklaces and the fruit of the Wahoo trees look like gumdrops. It is a land of contrast where Prickly pear cactus burst upon the landscape with golden yellow cups amid spiky thorns. The River can be as calm as glass with lotus blossoms covering the surface, or it can become a raging torrent, destroying the habitat along the shore.
Lost mound is a place where deserted army buildings die a slow death and vines cover the empty buildings until they disappear into the landscape.
As non-scientists, we shared our 21st Century discoveries in an exhibit of our first impressions of this special place capturing our reactions in a visual story told in writings, photography and original works of art.
Who are we?
The Lost Mound Corps of Discovery consists of a group of dedicated volunteers who have been trained to document nature and work under the auspices of the Illinois Natural History Survey. Our Mission is to provide an esthetic documentation of the natural beauty and history of the Lost Mound area through writing, photography, sketching, and painting, while participating as volunteers in a variety of projects.
Our Goals are to:
- collect and assemble information of all types into final forms, such as posters, maps, brochures, books, and computer multi-media that tell the story of Lost Mound. The exhibits will be displayed locally and throughout the state of Illinois. The works would be of use in public education, enhancing public awareness, promoting local tourism, and attracting environmentally-compatible businesses to the area;
- serve as a bridge between Lost Mound and local organizations and businesses that have an interest in the Lost Mound area;
- work closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to insure that all LRA and Army safety and operational regulations are followed;
- serve as volunteers on specific scientific projects that relate to our mission;
- expand our capabilities in terms of a scientifi c understanding of the Lost Mound ecosystems and in documentation methods;
- and enjoy experiencing Lost Mound while telling its story.