Exploring the Ecological History of Winona, Minnesota: A StoryMap


Exploring the Ecological History of Winona, Minnesota: A StoryMap



The Winona County Historical Society (WCHS) and Winona State University (WSU) collaborated on applying for a Heritage Partnership grant to produce shared resources with the goal to educate the Winona community about the local ecological history of the area. The grant provided the opportunity to hire St. Mary's University of Minnesota - GeoSpatial Services to reconstruct a map fo the vegetative communities in the city of Winona based on a 1855 land survey and other available data. An 1862 transcription of the 1855 of the land survey was found in the WCHS Laird Norton Archive, which was the starting point for this project. The surveyor's field notes provide a record of the Winona area as it appeared during this time period, including landmarks, vegetation and other natural resources.

The goal of this project was to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to digitally compile and map the landscape observations contained in the historical land survey and develop methods to effectively share this information with the local community. This StoryMap was produced as part of this effort and reviews the process used to create a historical land cover map of the Winona area using the land survey field notes. Scroll through the StoryMap to learn more and explore the ecological history of Winona, Minnesota.

Publication Date



Winona State University


Winona, Minnesota


Winona Township; Public Land Survey; PLS; Public Land Survey System; PLSS; Survey plat maps; First U.S. Federal Land Survey; U.S. Federal Land Survey; Surveyors; Field notes; Daniel Corbin; Geospatial Information Science; GIS software; ArcGIS Story Map; ArcGIS Web AppBuilder; Web GIS format; historical land coverage; Ecological history; Natural Resources; Vegetative Communities; Minnesota Geospatial Commons; GLO Historic Plat Map Retrieval System; Francis J. Marschner; The Original Vegetation of Minnesota; Miron Heinselman; Barbara Coffin


Special Collections-Library


Earth Sciences | Forest Sciences | Geographic Information Sciences | Geography | Physical and Environmental Geography | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Plant Sciences | Spatial Science


This metadata is a work in progress.

Rights Management

Requests to reproduce for educational purposes only are granted by the Winona State University’s Coordinator of the Special Collections. Please contact aquam@winona.edu for more information.

Contributing Institution

Winona County Historical Society; Winona State University;

Fiscal Sponsor

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Date Digital


Metadata Creation Responsibility

Allison Quam

Link to Storymap


Unique Identifier


Exploring the Ecological History of Winona, Minnesota: A StoryMap