The National Park Service recently awarded the Director's Award for Excellence in INterpretive Media to Mount Rushmore National Memorial's audio tour. Deputy Director Dan Wenk presented the award during the Association for Partners for Public Lands (APPL) awards banquet in Denver, Colorado on February 25, 2008. The Director's Award recognizes the very best in National Park Service interpretive media and considers entries submitted for the APPL awards over a two-year period.
This is the third national award for the Mount Rushmore History Association in the past year. The audio tour was the 2007 winner in the audio/visual division of the APPL Awards and the 2007 winner in the audio tour division of the National Association for Interpretation Media Awards.
Mount Rushmore Audio Tour: Living Memorial incorporates a lightweight handheld wand which features narration, music, interviews, sound effects and historic recordings of sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his children, Lincoln Borglum and Mary Ellis Borglum Vhay. Interviews with original workers on the mountain and members of local American Indian tribes highlight different perspectives on the carving. Visitors can listen to this self-guided tour while sitting in a favorite spot at the memorial or walking around the park on a suggested route. The tour and accompanying brochure and map are translated into German, Lakota and Spanish.
The project was entirely funded by the MRHA, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and assist the National Park Service with educational activities at the memorial. Working with Q Media Productions of Florida, a committee consisting of the National Park Service, MRHA staff and committee members and Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society board members developed the direction, content and flow of the tour. The wands themselves were developed by TourMate, internationally known for developing quality audio tour technology for parks and museums.
The tour is available at Mount Rushmore National Memorial for $5, inclusive of sales tax, in the Audio Tour building during the summer months and in the MRHA bookstore located in the InformationCenter during the winter months.