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News Town of Franklin will not use Astroturf on Nikwasi Mound

123 objects were detected within the Nikwasi Mound, reported WCU Geologist Blair Tormey, who studied the mound with a ground-penetrating radar unit. Tormey presented his findings last year at the Franklin Town Hall. Image provided by researchersA report in the June 30 issue of the Macon County News stated that the Town of Franklin had considered the installation of artificial ground covering, or “astroturf” on the Nikwasi Mound, which caused some confusion in the community. Franklin Town alderman and Nikwasi Mound committee member, Bob Scott, says that the town has no intention of using a synthetic covering on the historic site in downtown Franklin. “We would never agree to put anything on the mound that was manmade,” Scott stated emphatically.

At a recent meeting, the suggestion was made to the Mound committee to use astroturf as an alternative covering, but was immediately dismissed because the turf would not be historically accurate and would be a clear violation of the property deed.

Other natural vegetation was also discussed, however, that, too, was dismissed because the vegetation was not native to the mound and would change the site.

The Nikwasi Mound committee held a meeting Wednesday, June 29, to discuss further plans for the mound. According to Scott, everyone at this meeting agreed to completely dismiss ideas for any sort of “alternative covering.”

Other plans that were discussed included the possibility of constructing a split rail fence around the mound, however, a decision has not been reached as yet. The committee also discussed the possible removal of irrelevant signs, signs for businesses that no longer exist and are in disrepair, and some DOT signs. The only thing that was decided for sure is that the committee wants to have a new survey of the property done to determine what exactly are the town’s property boundaries.

“The whole idea is to make it (the mound) more visible to the public,” Scott said. The Mound committee is looking at ways of making that possible while still comply with the 1946 deed agreement and with the native history of the mound.


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