The Four Mounds Foundation was founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1987 as a means for managing and stewarding a generous gift of property willed to the City of Dubuque from the estate of Elizabeth Adams Burden upon her passing in 1982. The Burdens had a vision for the 54 acres of scenic river view property, that it might be preserved for the public good and be utilized for educational purposes. 

Our mission is to preserve, educate and serve. To that end we:

  • Preserve the natural, architectural and historical resources of the Four Mounds estate
  • Educate with hands-on opportunities for youth and community
  • Serve through leadership, stewardship, and innovative partnerships

Whether it’s the 25 year partnership with Team Building Blocks on our phenomenal Challenge Ropes Course, or the partnerships with multiple organizations and agencies across Dubuque—we find it’s more effective to reach community members by working with others that are doing good work. We have prided ourselves on partnership from the beginning, removing the burden of maintaining and restoring the Four Mounds estate from the City’s shoulders. Since then, our partnerships have grown and expanded into the community. For instance, in the HEART program, all the partners have different expertise and play different roles, allowing each of us to focus on what we do best. We don’t try to be everything to everyone, but through partnerships, we can expand our reach and effectiveness, reaching thousands across our community and region.