Santa Fe NHT: 2018 Highlights

Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA)

  • SFTA chapters installed new interpretive wayside exhibits at trail related sites in their areas.
  • Completed signage showing where the Santa Fe NHT crossed current roadways in Osage, Wabaunsee, Lyon, and Morris counties in eastern Kansas.
  • Began work on four interpretive wayside exhibits to be placed at the Little Arkansas River Complex, including the sites at Fry’s Ruts, Stone Corral, Swanson’s Swales, and Camp Grierson.
  • Printed the remaining two booklets in the four-booklet Jr. Wagon Master educational program designed for school-age children to explore the trail.
  • Held three events to observe the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, including: a two-day event in Council Grove, KS with speakers, historical site tours, Kaw dancers, reenactment of “mail-drop” by stagecoach, and special geocaching event; a three-day event in Larned, KS with speakers on the topic of “Death on the Santa Fe Trail;”  and a two-day event in Elkhart, KS, Boise City, OK, and Clayton, NM including tours to trail sites on private property.
  • Worked with landowner Della Orton to create a pedestrian trail on ten acres of native tallgrass prairie, east of Council Grove, KS, near the site of the Rock Creek Crossing. Seven interpretive wayside exhibits will be installed in the parking lot and along the trail. This project allowed SFTA to develop new partnerships with other organizations including Avila University (graphic design department), Kansas Native Plant Society, Flint Hills Discovery Center, Morris County Historical Society, and the Kansas Trails Council.
  • Dodge City Chapter placed new interpretive exhibits at Fort Dodge, KS to educate visitors to the original use of the buildings located at the current Kansas State Soldiers Home.
  • Reviewed the 2013-2023 strategic plan to determine how SFTA is progressing.
  • Initiated a new fundraising campaign.
  • Held geocaching events at trail events to increase Santa Fe NHT awareness and organizational membership in a new demographic.
  • Applied for and received a grant from the National Park Foundation, as well as an additional Love Your Park pilot project funding. This project increased SFTA’s partnerships and volunteer base.
  • Recognized Ross Marshall for his many years of volunteer service to the SFTA and PNTS with the SFTA Gregory Franzwa Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Santa Fe Trail crossing sign. Photo Credit: SFTA.