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Efforts Continue To Rename Parks And Counties With Problematic Namesakes

The prairie trail at soon-to-be Wanatee Park in Marion.
Calvin Kanz
The prairie trail at soon-to-be Wanatee Park in Marion.

Some Iowans are working to change the names of locations including counties and parks in an effort to right some old wrongs.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, a look at the decision to change the namesake of Johnson County to honor Lulu Merle Johnson, the first Black woman to receive a doctorate in Iowa. Also, efforts to rename a park in Linn County to honor Adeline Wanatee, the second Meskwaki woman inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.


  • Leslie Schwalm, professor of history and gender, women and sexuality studies, University of Iowa
  • Mary Bennett, special collections coordinator, State Historical Society of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa