About David L. Dahlquist

Byway Planner, Wayshowing Planner, Group Facilitator


David Dahlquist brings extensive national- and local-level experience in byway and trail planning, program organization and development, and corridor management planning as well as wayshowing, interpretation, and training for byway and public organizations. His experience is based on the foundation of landscape architecture, project management, and master planning for park and recreation, urban development, transportation enhancements, tourism development and conservation issues. David provides a variety of services to meet the needs of public and private clients and agencies across the country.



Bachelor of Science, Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University


Professional Experience

In 2006, David instituted David L. Dahlquist Associates, LLC with the mission of serving the people and organizations that create, manage, and enjoy America’s public landscapes and byways. Wayshowing—effective communication of travel information—is a primary focus.

Between 1999 and 2006, David led a team of six landscape architects and graphic designers for Shive-Hattery, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, which served clients throughout the Midwest and delivered successful projects including scenic byway studies, park and recreation development plans, and various wayshowing and visitor communication projects.

From 1992 through 1999, David served as President of David L. Dahlquist Associates, Inc. which managed, planned, designed, and implemented a number of successful public communication projects including scenic byways, trails, parks and tourism projects.

David served as consulting Director of the America’s Historic Forest, a national project in Des Moines, Iowa, planned to integrate history, education, and the environment through the media of trees and forests. As an associate of George Butler Associates, Inc. (GBA) of Kansas City, for seven years, David directed the planning and landscape architectural work of that firm, including numerous projects which earned state and national recognition.

Prior to joining GBA, David was a principal of The Design Collaborative at Ames, Iowa, and a landscape architect for the City of Dubuque, Iowa. He was also an assistant professor for the Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture and served as Project Director for the Recreation, Tourism, and Leisure Committee of the Iowa Legislature.

David is a past president of the National Association of Recreation Resource Planners. He’s completed the Heritage Tourism Institute certification program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Byway Project Experience Sampling

David has led the planning, design, and project management for the following byway and heritage area projects.

Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Entry Sign Plan, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Baton Rouge Louisiana, 2010 to Present

Preparing a plan for the design and location of entry signs along highways and local roads across 14 parishes in south-central Louisiana including design and material guidelines, GIS mapping and coordination with state and local agencies.

Wayshowing Assessment and Plan for the Auto Tour Route of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service, 2009 to Present

Preparing a comprehensive assessment of wayshowing media associated with the 11-state, 3,500-mile Auto Tour Route of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Services include preparing design and implementation alternatives and coordination among various visitor experience providers.

Iowa Byways Wayshowing Plan, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames, Iowa, 2008 to Present

Prepared the comprehensive signage and wayfinding system for 1,695 miles of the Iowa’s Byways Program. The signage will help visitors navigate their way along Iowa’s most significant routes and experience their historic and scenic resources. The project includes signage design and location using GIS and GPS as well as the development of graphic identity for the program and each of Iowa’s byways. The program currently includes two National Scenic Byways and nine scenic or heritage byways.

Tennessee Great River Road, Mississippi River Corridor – Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, 2008

Assisted with route selection, CMP development and nomination package for designation as a National Scenic Byway

State Scenic Byway Program and Individual Byway Corridor Plans, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2007 to Present

Prepared statewide program development plan for the 2,500-mile collection of designated state and national byways. Also prepared six individual byway corridor management plans according to guidelines of the Federal Highway Administration and based on extensive on-site assessment and public involvement.

Effective Wayshowing for Byways, America’s Byways Resource Center, Duluth, Minnesota, 2006 to Present

Prepared a nation-wide assessment of the effectiveness of communications with byway travelers and made recommendations for training and program development. David conducted “Visitor Eye” Assessments for nearly 6,000 miles of 47 national and state scenic byways in 15 states. Prepared state-of-the-art materials to support more effective guidance systems for travelers of America’s Byways including authoring Wayshowing for Byways: A Reference Manual. Signage, byway travel maps, and electronic technologies are the subject of the training materials for a wide range of public, technical, and professional audiences.

Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway, Interpretive Master Plan, and Implementation, Northern Minnesota, 1996-1998

Prepared interpretive master plan, interpretive panels, and discovery guide for interpreting the natural and cultural resources of the 45-mile National Scenic Byway in Northern Minnesota.

Loess Hills Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan, Western Iowa, 1996-1997

Provided overall plan management and project facilitation services for the Corridor Management Plan for this nationally unique landform in seven Western Iowa counties.

The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1997-2006

Prepared overall interpretation and communication master plan for the historic first national urban byway—50 miles of historic Minneapolis parkways and boulevards. Directed the implementation of wayside exhibits, brochures, web site, and other facilities for this international attraction. Project received Honor Award from the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2002 as well as several national recognitions including the FHWA 2007 Environmental Excellence Award.

Interpretive Master Plan, Historic National Road of Indiana, 1999-2001

Conducted research of intrinsic resource sites along the historic Route 40 in Indiana, facilitated committee evaluation and action, and prepared a master plan.

Minnesota River Valley Byway Media Development, Minnesota, 1999-2001

Planned, managed, and designed a travel promotion brochure, website, and trade video for this 250-mile National Scenic Byway.

Interpretive Master Plan, Ohio River Scenic Byway, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, 2000-2003

Managed all aspects of the development of an in-depth Interpretive Master Plan for this 967-mile national scenic byway. Services included site investigation, research and management of historic and contemporary information, facilitation of a three-state advisory committee, speaking at public meetings, preparing a full technical report and summary reports for each state. Project recommendations are presently in various stages of development.

Iowa Scenic Byway Study, Iowa, 1993-1994

Prepared an assessment of the effectiveness of the State’s pilot byway program including conducting in-depth interviews with community leaders associated with each of four routes.


Related Project Experience

David has led the planning, design, and project management for the following projects.

Central Iowa Trails Communications Master Plan, Central Iowa, 2005-2006

Managed the preparation of an overall graphic design and signage system plan to improve and deliver information to trail users for more than 25 participating communities and organizations in central Iowa.

Festival of Iowa Folklife, Des Moines, Iowa, 1995-1996

Provided site programming, planning, design, and budget management services for the restaging in Des Moines of the Iowa portion of the 1996 Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. The festival was the centerpiece event of the yearlong celebration of Iowa’s 150th birthday sponsored by the Iowa Sesquicentennial Commission.

Community Visioning Projects, Various Locations, Iowa, 1999-2004

Managed and facilitated the landscape architectural services in community design charettes for Emmetsburg, Sac City, Missouri Valley, Johnston, and Mount Ayr as part of the Living Roadways Community Visioning Program of Iowa State University Extension, Trees Forever, and the Iowa Department of Transportation.