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Seeking Experts to Help Reconstruct the Kettle Falls Overlook

Voyageurs National Park Association is seeking pro bono landscape architecture services as Voyageurs National Park begins planning the reconstruction of the Kettle Falls overlook in Minnesota’s National Park.

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Current bird’s-eye view of the overlook

Voyageurs National Park’s Kettle Falls has been a crossroads of travel and history for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Kettle Falls was a main artery of the travel route along the wilderness border region. Native peoples gathered, hunted, and speared sturgeon at the falls, voyageurs paddled and portaged through the area carrying their goods and furs, and prospectors traveled to the picturesque resting place on their way to the Rainy Lake gold mines.

The park’s Kettle Falls Historic District is a large area with multiple historic, natural, and recreational features, access points, and types of visitors. The Historic District retains several significant historic features, including the Kettle Falls Hotel and associated buildings, the Kettle Falls Dam, a log damkeeper’s cabin built in 1910, and numerous other historic and archeological features. Kettle Falls is a unique place offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the rich stories of the people and time periods that passed through these waterways.

Over 40,000 visitors come to Kettle Falls annually. Boat launch ramps and visitor docking are located on both Namakan and Rainy Lakes. Food, lodging, gas, and portage services are available.

This project involves rehabilitating the 30-year-old visitor overlook and surrounding area at Kettle Falls. The wood observation deck and walkways have shifted and settled over the years and now pose numerous tripping, splintering, and falling hazards for park visitors. The overlook offers rich opportunities for scenic views as well as historic and environmental education to visitors.

Kids standing on Kettle Falls Overlook

Photo by Jim Bizal

 

Can you help?

Professional landscape architecture or architecture services are needed to develop construction drawings for the new Kettle Falls overlook.

Project Timeline

●  August/September 2017 – Landscape architect site visit to Voyageurs National Park
●  August 2018 – Draft construction drawings prepared for NPS review
●  January 2019 – Final construction drawings to NPS
●  September 2019 – Site demolition; construction begins

Contact
If you are interested in learning more about ways you can support this project through donated services, please contact:
Christina Hausman
chausman@voyageurs.org

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