The state of Iowa has 2,000 registered sites on the National Register of Historic Places (NHRP), and it was recently announced that a popular Linn County Educational and Nature area has been added to that list.

Wickiup Hill Nature Area is managed by Linn County Conservation, who according to Radio Iowa recently touted the addition of six sites on their property to the registry.

It’s kind of exciting, it allows an additional layer of protection to the sites. It expresses the value as far as archeological potential and significance that the sites contain — both archeologically and historically


How does a site get chosen for the National Register of Historic Places?

Wickiup Hill Learning Center manager Kent Rector says it takes a lot of research and planning to get nominated for the National Register of Historic Places, saying the chosen sites showed evidence of Native American cultures that have lived there on the 751-acre land.

Specifically, according to a press release from Linn County Conservation, the Oneota, Ioway, and Meskwaki people congregated in the area primarily during the winter months, due in part to the springs that continued to flow year-round.

There were also two habitation sites that Rector called "very significant for the cultures that used them and for the cultures that still claim a significant linkage to the area."

It's then decided on two main criteria:

  • Age and Integrity: Is the property old enough to be considered historic? This generally means it's at least 50 years old and still looks a great deal like it did in its original form.
  • Significance: Is the property associated with events, activities, or developments that were important in the past?
    • Did it impact the lives of people who were important in the past?
    • Is it associated with significant architectural history, landscape history, or engineering achievements?
    • Does it have the potential to yield information through archeological investigation about our past?

What is the benefit of the NRHP designation?

Officially, designation on the NRHP means  "formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural, or archeological significance based on national standards used by every state."

Wickiup Hill now also joins its counterparts in becoming eligible for various federal funding and grants including the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). More about the financial incentives of being designated on the NRHP can be found here.

Old Iowa Barn Transformed Into Quaint Rustic Cabin That You Can Stay In [GALLERY]

Palisades-Kepler State Park in the Fall

I took a drive out to Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mount Vernon to capture some of the beautiful fall colors before winter takes over. I hope you enjoy the scenery as much as I did!

[Sources: Radio Iowa and Linn County Conservation media release]

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