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New Iowa Center to Interpret Driftless Area Along Mississippi River

LANSING, Iowa — The new Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center, overlooking the Mississippi River in northeastern Iowa, will provide visitors with detailed information about the unusual features of the four-state driftless area.

Currently under construction, the building expects to have interpretive displays installed by April 2017, with a grand opening shortly afterward.

The rugged terrain of the driftless area, also known as the Paleozoic Plateau, covers about 24,000 square miles in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. It is so named because the most recent glaciers skirted the area and did not deposit much of the sand, gravel, rocks and clay known as drift.

The 10,000-square-foot, three-story facility will have two outdoor observation decks for views of the river and its bluffs.

Its interpretive displays also will explain the cultural, social and economic history of the region, including an array of artifacts about Lansing’s commercial fishing industry local ice harvests, clamming and clamshell button manufacturing.