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National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
Release Date: 12/20/10
Contacts: Lesley Collins    

Trails Center Showcases Temporary Exhibit, “The Rainbow Snake;”
Mural presents local and regional history with an Aboriginal flair

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) will host a temporary exhibit entitled, “The Rainbow Snake.” Fourth and fifth grade students from Oregon Trail Elementary School in Casper created the mural.

The exhibit opens Jan. 4, 2011, and will be on display throughout the month.

Janet Wragge, a teacher at Oregon Trail Elementary, said the mural was inspired by Aboriginal rock art and teachings of Australia. The mural is loaded with symbols, from the Black Hills of South Dakota, to the Bighorns and Casper Mountain of Wyoming.

The North Platte River, American Indians, pioneers, historic trails, and even the Christian religion are all represented by colorful symbols. Sacred sites are represented, from Fort Laramie to Casper. An ox, facing west, represents the pioneers, and a war pony, representing American Indians, faces the Black Hills.

“One hundred hands of children touched this mural,” Wragge said. “The fact that kids created this is amazing. But when you look at it, you ask yourself, ’Did children actually create this?"

“Literally everything on the mural represents something. It tells the history of this area in a way that excited the children. The mural is so intriguing, and makes you want to know the stories that are being told.”

The acclaimed artist, musician and story teller Paul Taylor, originally from Australia, helped coordinate the construction of the exhibit. Taylor is a member of the Wyoming Arts Council and lives in Laramie.

The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on winter hours, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center   1501 North Poplar Street      Casper, WY 82601  

Last updated: 12-20-2010