MESA VERDE, CO: Mesa Verde Voices, a podcast series connecting the experiences of people from the past with the people of today, launches on September 1, 2017. Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde Museum Association, KSJD public radio and Mesa Verde Country Tourism Bureau collaborated to produce the pilot season. The first three podcasts are: “Revealed by Fire,” discussing how fire has revealed sophisticated water management practices used more than 800 years ago; “Corn=Life,” the critical importance of corn to survival and agricultural practices that evolved to fit well with the dry climate of the southwestern United States; and “Moving On,” humans everywhere, including the Ancestral Pueblo people, have always moved around the landscape driven by cultural, spiritual, and survival demands. “Water, fire, food, migration…these are all topics which people across the country and the world are grappling with,” explains Cally Carswell, KSJD’s Mesa Verde Voices producer.  The podcast is available on iTunes or for download at mesaverdevoices.org.

“We want this podcast to both enrich the experience of visitors coming to visit Mesa Verde National Park and the other Pueblo sites in our region,” says Kristy Sholly, Chief of Interpretation at Mesa Verde National Park, “and we hope that it sparks conversations across the country. This project represents the highest ideals of the National Park Service around education, inspiration, conservation, and action. And we’re really proud to be able to bring the relevance of ancient cultures forward to our challenges today.”

Mesa Verde National Park, established by an act of Congress in 1906, was the first park in the world designated to protect both natural and cultural resources. Today, the park hosts more than 600,000 visitors annually.  But the podcast isn’t just about the park, according to Kelly Kirkpatrick at Mesa Verde Country Tourism Bureau, “Mesa Verde Voices highlights the experiences of people across a region and across cultures. The park and the Tribal Park on Mesa Verde were and are critically important, and to really get a feel for the grand scope of the Ancestral Pueblo and Pueblo people today, this podcast series reaches out across the Four Corners, where most of the people live. I like to think of the culture living on Mesa Verde as Manhattan-- a center of culture in our Country today, but only a jumping off point as it relates to the story of our nation.”

After the three-episode pilot, work will begin on the second season. “We’ve worked hard with partners to drive this important work forward,” says Teri Paul, Executive Director of the Mesa Verde Museum Association, a non-profit organization that supports the operations of the park. “And we look forward to having others join us. In doing this work, it’s really interesting to learn how the people living in this region 1,000 years ago are similar in their actions and reactions to the way people are today.”

Due to limited wireless services past the entrance to the park, visitors are encouraged to download the podcasts in advance of their visit to enrich their travel experience and learn more about our region’s distant past and present. Locals too will enjoy hearing stories that relate to their home and history. The series may also be downloaded at the new Visitor and Research Center, which has free Wi-Fi service, at the entrance to the park.

Funding has already been secured to produce five podcasts for the 2018 season thanks to the work of the partners in this project and the Ballantine Family Fund, Mesa Verde Museum Association, and the members of KSJD. To support Mesa Verde Voices, click on the support link at www.mesaverdevoices.org. Mesa Verde Voices is a production of KSJD, whose mission is to inform, entertain, and empower the people of the Four Corners Region.