There are many challenges in operating a museum; whether it be a large one like the Smithsonian or a small one like the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village the challenges are similar. Raising funds to keep our doors open, of course, is our biggest challenge. Our responsibility to the community at large is great, due in part to our desire to give back to the community for the generosity it shows. We are often challenged to think of unique and meaningful ways to give back to the community.
This fall, we are creating a research library for students to study and learn about archaeology, anthropology, Native Americans and more. We are in the process of gathering books and other media through donations. The library will be in the basement of the Boehnen Museum. We are excited about this project and work on the library will begin once our season ends at the end of October.
The library will allow students to access our books and media. Students will be able to check out some of the books. Computers will be available for use by the students. Our goal is to increase awareness of the sciences and disciplines involved in the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. Local libraries and colleges have offered to donate books, as well as the staff here at the Village.
We also look forward to the beginning of our prairie project. A strip of land on the north side of the Thomsen Center Archeodome will be restored to native prairie to give visitors an idea of the what the early people saw around their villages.
Next spring will see the establishment of gardens designed to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects by planting native wildflowers and grasses. These gardens will be located near the entrance to the Boehnen museum and will include sculptures from Native American artists.
All of these projects are just the beginning of many good things to come in the future for the community and for the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.