While the physical trail is located in South Dakota’s state capital, the project has brought partners together from across the state and beyond its borders.
The foundation has commissioned South Dakota artists to create life-sized, bronze statues of the state’s past governors. A minimum of three statues will be erected each year and the “Trail of Governors” will connect the state capitol and the Missouri River. The foundation is relying entirely upon private donations and corporate underwriters to fulfill its vision. Dakota Prairie Bank and Leroy and Charlene Foster are providing interest-free loans to underwrite a portion of this project and up to four sponsors are needed to fund each statue. The South Dakota Community Foundation is also a project partner and all donations are tax-deductible. Up to four sponsors are needed for each South Dakota governor and donations are tax-deductible.
The governor statues will follow the timeline and order established working from outside inward, i.e. the first year’s statues will include an early governor (Mellette) and a recent governor to leave office (Miller), as well as a mid-timeline governor (Bushfield). Collectively, the artists have the ability to do up to six statues each year. Thus, additional governors may be moved up within the timeline provided a sponsor comes forward with full funding. A timeline for the creation of each statue may be found here.
This is a truly unique and South Dakotan way to honor our state’s leaders. We hope this project will spark your interest and we hope you will contact us with any questions or comments you might have. In the meantime, we ask you to check back occasionally and follow the progress! Thanks again for stopping by and enjoy our website!