Once on the brink of extinction, the American Plains Bison is back in Minnesota. We worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division to create interpretation about the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd, which lives on protected and restored native grasslands at Blue Mounds State Park and Minneopa State Park. Both parks experienced increased visitation and interest in the herd from state park visitors, yet the trails lacked any interpretive signage about the herd.
To enhance this visitor experience, we produced six interpretive panels about bison behavior, prairie ecology, archaeology, and the symbolic significance to local Dakota residents of the bison’s return to the prairie. The Dakota collaboration resulted in a bilingual panel in both Dakota and English languages. Three detailed, bronze bas relief sculptures with raised letters provide accessibility for hands-on learners.
The 106 Group team successfully installed six exhibits at Blue Mounds State Park and Minneopa State Park in June-July 2017. The team lead states that both parks report visitors are using and enjoying the interpretive waysides. The project was positively received by the team and staff throughout the MN DNR.