by Nia Fitzhugh,
AmeriCorps Interpretive Naturalist
Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer and the kickoff of summer programs at the park. From 2019- 2020 interpretive staff made over 30,000 interpretive contacts and majority come from the summer season. If you’ve ever attended a park program, read signage, or spoken to park staff about local resources, you’ve experienced some form of park interpretation. So, what does this have to do with your summer visit to the park? Like I mentioned before, there are several ways to experience park interpretation and although they are all somewhat different, they all come down to facilitating learning and connection between the visitors and the resources at the park. At some parks there is full time staff who deal directly with the operations of park interpretation. While others utilize park staff and volunteers. Essentially “Interpreters are the keepers, tellers, and facilitators of stories for our natural and cultural resources.” This quote is a nice summary explaining an interpreter’s job. But they also create thought provoking interactions that will allow visitors to make their own connection to the park. These interactions may be through programs, events, interpretative panels, or just speaking one on one with visitors. Interpreters want to share their passion and knowledge with others as they continuously learn and uncover information. But ultimately, they want you to make your own connection and share that with your friends, family, and community. So on your next visit to the park come learn about some of the cool tide pool creatures adaptations or the relation between salmons and trees.
Our staff would like to continuously reach visitors year-round, but they know there is a greater opportunity to make connections in the warmer months. We hope to reach more visitors every year. See you soon!