Looking Back on 2021: from Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Superintendent

About this article: This article was originally published in the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail 2021 Annual Report.
Man in Park Service Class A Uniform Smiles
Mark Weekley. Superintendent, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

NPS Photo

Hello, friends!

Last year at this time I really expected that in 2021 the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (NHT) team and I would be able to travel to see many of you face to face and to visit key sites along the trail. I must admit that I am disappointed that the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting our operations and lives. However, one of the things I have learned from studying Lewis and Clark is that much of their success was due to how they prepared for and responded to events. I am impressed by how our staff and all of you have adapted, adjusted, and managed to proceed on. This past year has been difficult in many ways, but those difficulties have also pushed us to grow and adapt in the pursuit of success.

The Lewis and Clark NHT office had a very good year with many successes despite, and maybe even because of, the challenges we faced. The challenges have come from many directions, but the successes came from how we responded. I asked the staff to provide me a list of a few of the achievements this year which they thought were the most important. I got a very long list, many of these achievements are covered in the pages that follow.
I am lucky to work with an amazing team at the National Park Service (NPS) Lewis and Clark NHT office in Omaha. Please remember that all these folks are part of your team as well. If you need to reach any of the trail’s NPS staff, you can find their contact information at the end of this annual report. (Staff Directory)

The legislation that created the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and many other trails clearly envisioned trails as being the product of partners, volunteers, and agency employees working together. This vision is a reality for us. The Lewis and Clark NHT has many outstanding partners who work to protect and promote the trail. Please take a minute to look at the partnership section of this report to see some of the great organizations that share the work and joy of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Please also accept the sincere appreciation and respect that all of us in Omaha have for all of you.

Just like last year, I am confident that the future holds great promise for our organizations, and for our country. Yes, there are many challenges, but like Lewis and Clark, we can and will find success in how we prepare for and how we respond to these challenges. We must not let obstacles define us, but rather we must define ourselves by how we overcome such obstacles as, just Lewis and Clark did. Please, stay safe, be kind to friends and strangers, celebrate today, your friends, and your family while proceeding on.

Thank You!

Mark Weekley
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Part of a series of articles titled Lewis and Clark Trail 2021 Annual Report.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: January 14, 2022