The Iowa Blood Run Cultural Landscape Master Plan received an Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
The Master Plan recommends protection of significant sites, areas for sacred activities, interpretive and hiking trails, connections to South Dakota, a bio-reserve and possible bison herd, an educational and curatorial facility, outdoor education area and facilities for group gatherings, picnics, day use, research, camping, and maintenance/administration.
The team facilitated the creation of an "entirely different dialogue" between groups culturally connected to the landscape and those positioned to guide the formation of a unique bi-state park. Through a process that fostered teamwork and collaboration, the project brought together representatives of descendant Indigenous communities, local farmers, landowners, residents, economic specialists, historians, naturalists, and other stakeholders, to find common ground and develop an inspirational plan for the future of Blood Run (Xe). The interdisciplinary team conducted rigorous qualitative and quantitative research that provided a basis for a shared understanding among diverse project participants. The resulting Cultural Landscape Master Plan provides a comprehensive framework for establishment of a bi-state park that respects, preserves, protects, and emphasizes the unique heritage of the study area; strengthens appreciation of regional American Indian heritage, local history, current community activities, and natural resources; while fostering understanding, use, and enjoyment through education, interpretation, and compatible recreation. In addition, the process cultivated a community dedicated to the implementation of the plan and a structure to facilitate their long-term involvement.
"The fact that this project demonstrates that they went in consultation with the various tribes and reached an outcome that everyone collectively agreed on and was excited about is really significant."
2018 ASLA Awards Jury
For more information on the project, the full award submission is available here.