The National Park Service provided the following trail highlights and photos for the 2021 calendar year:
Education, Interpretation and Cultural Expression
In 2021, National Park Service, National Trails office (NTIR) staff worked with an award-winning exhibits design and development firm and the Iowa Mormon Trail Association (IMTA) to develop wayside exhibits for a 300-mile section of the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail (MOPI) across the state of Iowa. This project updated decades-old interpretive panels at sites that NTIR and IMTA determined were important to retain and placed new panels in locations to interpret the human experience along the MOPI in 1846 and 1847. Eight interpretive wayside exhibits and two upright orientation panels were designed, fabricated, and installed for Nauvoo, IL and in Iowa at Montrose Riverfront Park, Prairie Trails Museum, Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah, Bonaparte Riverfront Park, Locust Creek, and the Iowa School for the Deaf.
The research completed for this project helps enhance the story of the motivations and experiences on the Mormon exodus and sheds light on the experience of American Indians and other underrepresented populations. The exhibits interpret the significance and relationship of cultural resources based on the National Historic Trails interpretive themes and historical significance as stated in management and interpretive plans. The new maps, illustrations, digital content, and balanced perspectives will appeal to a wider audience and meet the needs of people with different learning styles. This project also provided an opportunity to create a cohesive, thematic approach to the interpretive exhibits across the state of Iowa.