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Money donated in bid to make Illinois site national park

Flickr Creative Commons/Steve Moses

Officials in southwestern Illinois are putting more money into a bid to make an ancient historic site a national park.  The Cahokia Mounds is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. Archeologists say it was home to as many as 20,000 people in its heyday around 1100 A.D.  

The St. Clair County Board approved a $25,000 contribution to the HeartLands Conservancy as the group lobbies for the national-park designation. 

County Administrator Debra Moore says that as a national park the management of the Cahokia Mounds would become a responsibility of the federal parks system.

Historians say a still-visible hill-like structure was once a center of the site with multiple villages surrounding it.  The property is already a United Nations World Heritage Site. 

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