Money donated in bid to make Illinois site national park

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ 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 Bellville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/299EEhK) reports the St. Clair County Board this week 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.