Celebrating Heritage 

Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay works to preserve the buildings and artifacts of Northeastern Wisconsin and its people. The Park opened in 1977 on a 54-acre site with 24 historical and reproduction buildings representing the area’s history from 1672 to 1940. 

“What I’ve noticed is Green Bay truly embraces history,” says Margaret Karius, CEO of Heritage Hill. “[The Park] allows the people of Northeast Wisconsin to celebrate their history and how they’ve come to the U.S., their cultures and traditions.”

On July 4, Heritage Hill will host “Celebrate the 4th: America’s Picnic,” which will also serve as the 40th anniversary celebration of the park’s dedication which took place on June 16, 1978. 

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 pm and is sponsored by Schrieber Community Grants Fund, a fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation.

At the community event, the Park will debut a new 1,800-square-foot Children’s Interactive Learning Center. Designed to resemble a small fort, the interactive play area complements the adjoining historical Fort Howard interpretive area. The Center includes twin towers, slides, a climbing wall and hill, an open air activity space, water fountain, picnic space and hands-on activities involving costumes, musical instruments, mechanical motion and measurement. 

The Center features a variety of kinetic experiences for children ranging from general play to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) educational features, all designed with a historical context. The structure is also ADA compatible throughout, providing engaging activities for a broad range of ages and abilities. 

Educational programs utilizing the Interactive Learning Center are being planned. Nick Backhaus, director of operations, says these new learning opportunities will further the Park’s mission of bringing history to life. 

“You can read in history books, but can you actually touch that tangible connection to the past?” he says. “That’s why historic preservation is so valuable.”

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