Since the final Hill Cumorah Pageant took place last summer, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has begun rehabilitating the historic site.
In 2021, Church Historian and Recorder Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. said that the Church will begin to reestablish the Hill Cumorah in three major ways:
- Remove pageant infrastructure and all other nonhistorical facilities
- Rehabilitate the landscape
- Upgrade the messaging of the hill’s historical and sacred significance
In response to those three significant goals for the Hill Cumorah, here’s what work has gone on thus far.
According to Church News, workers have planted trees by seed instead of saplings so they will be more healthy and grow up into an old growth forest.
“If you go into that old growth section, the trees are incredibly tall and the canopy is very high, which is characteristic of old growth forest trees that have grown up in competition with each other over many years,” Benjamin Pykles, a manager for the Historic Sites Division of the Church History Department, told Church News. “If you go to other parts where trees are planted by sapling, they are low canopy, big, round bushy tops, still beautiful but much more like a park or golf course.”
New, accessible trails
Walking trails on the hill now allow all visitors, including those in wheelchairs or strollers, to access the Angel Moroni monument at the top of the hill.
“Some of the trails are fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Others remain rustic, but all trails lead up to the Angel Moroni monument,” Pykles told Church News.
Wayfinding signage and historical markers on the hill itself, as well as a new historic site entrance sign have all been added.
“That sign is the first of its kind for a new brand that has been approved by Church leaders for all historic sites,” Pykles told Church News. “So over the next several years, all of the historic sites will be getting new signs.”
Angel Moroni monument improvements
For the first time since its construction in 1935, the Angel Moroni statue on the Hill Cumorah Historic Site monument has been regilded.
Pageant infrastructure removed
Twenty-four structures, and thousands of square feet of asphalt and gravel, roads and paths installed over the course of the pageant’s 84-year history have been removed.
Read the full list of project updates on Church News.
► You may also like: Watch the final Hill Cumorah Pageant and commemorative devotional