Breaking Prairie
  Silos & Smokestacks  

Interpretive Plan

National Heritage Area

The Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area interprets the story of American agriculture and the expanding capacity of American farms to feed the nation and the world. Comprising 37 counties in northeast Iowa, Silos & Smokestacks interprets the region’s heritage to residents and visitors by strengthening existing interpretive attractions, communities, and sites and by coordinating their interpretive presentations. Following the heritage area's difficult first phase of growth and transition, the process of developing the interpretive plan was used to reinvent the heritage area and actively engage partners.

The interpretive plan created a thematic structure that is used by partners to coordinate storylines and presentations with related sites. Specific recommendations were developed to reach various audiences and create memorable visitor experiences. Prioritized projects link partners geographically and thematically. Core projects undertaken by Silos heritage area-wide include graphic identity, wayfinding, website programming, and printed brochures. Partner-led projects help coordinate regional, community, and site-related presentations. These include field guides, exhibits, brochures, events, best practices workshops, and others. A step-by-step workbook was created to assist partners in planning and implementing various types of coordinated projects.

  John Deere Tractor Works, Waterloo, Iowa
Northeast Iowa

Client: Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area

Prime Consultant: John Milner Associates, Inc.

JMA Principal Planner: Peter Benton

Associate Planner: A. Elizabeth Watson




Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, Iowa