National Mississippi River Museum named Silos & Smokestacks Site of the Year

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque has been named the “Silos & Smokestacks People’s Choice Site of the Year.”

“We are excited to be this year’s Site of the Year! As a museum, aquarium and science center, it is important to us that we help our visitors make connections between agriculture and compelling historical, conservation and river stories. Silos & Smokestacks has been a strong partner in promoting these efforts,” said Wendy Scardino, director of marketing and communications for National Mississippi River Museum.

Each year, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) celebrates the best in heritage development by presenting “The People’s Choice Site of the Year.” This is a special award presented to one deserving SSNHA Partner Site, where the public decides the winner from a group of nominees.

“The National Mississippi River Museum is one of our premier heritage area sites.  They have been a long-time partner with us in telling and preserving the story of American agriculture,” said Silos & Smokestacks President Cara Miller. “The river has and continues to play such an important role in agriculture and this museum does a great job of telling visitors that story.”

From March 12-16, five Heritage Area Partner Sites competed in online voting, with the following three sites emerging as finalists:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, Burr Oak
  • National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque
  • Fossil & Prairie Park & Preserve, Rockford

More than 8,500 responses were calculated with National Mississippi River Museum receiving 54.1% of the vote. The award was presented April 30 during the Silos & Smokestacks Annual Partner Site Training at Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls.

Other nominees included Brucemore in Cedar Rapids and the Wapsipinicon Mill Museum in Independence.

Through a network of sites, programs and events, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area tells the story of farm life and agribusiness—past and present. Visitors can learn about and experience agriculture at a variety of museums, historic sites, and farms. One of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation, Silos & Smokestacks is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The heritage area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa.

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Photo: Chris Cox, Silos & Smokestacks Board of Trustees; Paula Neuhaus and Victoria Cote of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.