Interp.master.plan - Sarah

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Developing an Interpretive Master Plan for Your Institution: A Success Story

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Happy visitors are good indicators of successful interpretation .

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NEVIN WELCOME CENTER

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WHAT IS INTERPRETATION? “A mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource. ” www.interpnet.com

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WHAT IS INTERPRETIVE PLANNING? “A decision-making process that blends management needs and resource considerations with visitor desire and ability to pay to determine the most effective way to communicate the message to targeted markets.”

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OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS: Inventory interpretive resources Inventory visitors Develop interpretive t hemes Develop interpretive goals and objectives Recommend interpretive media Prioritize recommendations

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(1)KNOW YOUR INTERPRETIVE RESOURCES Review background materials (history books, files, mission and vision statements). Interview staff, volunteers, stakeholders Spend time in the places visitors go. Take stock of assets that would contribute to successful interpretation. Identify current interpretation.

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(2) KNOW YOUR VISITORS Who visits? What are their motivations? What are their areas of interest? Resources: visitor surveys, personal interviews with visitors, local demographics

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(3) DEVELOP INTERPRETIVE THEMES One main interpretive theme: The main thread that ties together all stories told. A set of “subthemes”

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MAIN INTERPRETIVE THEME: Plants are essential to human survival and well- being. They feed us, heal us, protect us, and enrich us.

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INTERPRETIVE “SUBTHEMES” Plant diversity is the foundation of biodiversity which is critical to the well-being of life on earth. People develop modified forms of plants suited to thrive in human- altered landscapes for a variety of uses . From providing all of our food to inspiring creativity, plants strongly affect human well-being, which is reflected in the customs, behavior and preferences of all cultures, past and present . There are many ways people can be responsible stewards of our living earth in our every-day lives . A dynamic and unique post-glacial landscape shaped by water and humans creates a variety of environmental conditions ideal for the location of diverse plant collections, naturalistic and natural areas of Cornell Plantations . A vision shared by staff in the early days of Cornell, with Liberty Hyde Bailey as a driving force, resulted after many years in the development of Cornell Plantations.

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HOW DID WE COME UP WITH THESE? Considered all interpretive resources. O rganized them by similar subject matter. Listed them all on large pieces of paper. Feedback provided by staff review team.

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(4) DEVELOP INTERPRETIVE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES GOAL: A state desired outcome of a process or project. OBJECTIVES: A specific, measurable result from a desired interpretive activity.

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GOAL: Provide a sense of hospitality and welcome to visitors. OBJECTIVES : Most visitors will: Be able to easily find their way to Cornell Plantations regardless of from where they are traveling . Feel safe during their visit.

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GOAL : Enhance the sense of inspiration, awe, solace, and beauty offered by natural areas and artistically-designed gardens, in part by encouraging the use of their senses during a visitor’s experience. OBJECTIVES : Most visitors will: Feel that the gardens and natural areas of Plantations are places of retreat to find beauty and inspiration and want to return to Plantations for that experience .

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GOAL : Deepen visitors’ connections with plants and their natural environment by fostering a deeper appreciation for biodiversity, and understanding of how plants shape human cultures, influence the course of human history and affect well-being. OBJECTIVES : Most visitors will: Recognize that they are an integral part of the natural world, not separate from it.

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GOAL : Foster a deeper awareness, understanding and appreciation for horticulture and its value to human society as well as Cornell Plantations’ and the University’s roles in horticultural research and development OBJECTIVES : Most visitors will: Recognize that Liberty Hyde Bailey was a key player in the creation of Cornell Plantations and he is one of several people affiliated with or are in close association to Cornell Plantations and Cornell University that have made significant contributions to the study of horticulture or other natural science fields .

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GOAL : Encourage ecologically responsible gardening and sustainable land management aimed at conserving biodiversity. OBJECTIVES : Most visitors will: Recognize that Cornell Plantations strives to be an exemplary green garden by being environmentally progressive in both collections and operations.

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GOAL : Enhance the sense of inspiration, awe, solace, and beauty offered by natural areas and artistically-designed gardens, in part by encouraging the use of their senses during a visitor’s experience. OBJECTIVES : Most visitors will: Feel that the gardens and natural areas of Plantations are places of retreat to find beauty and inspiration and want to return to Plantations for that experience .

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(5) INTERPRETIVE RECOMMENDATIONS Created a list of “strategies” to help achieve goals and objectives in order to identify best “modes” of interpretation. Prioritized list of various forms of interpretation we would offer visitors. Five year plan.

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THANK YOU!

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No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the American Public Gardens Association. Copyright © 2012 by the American Public Gardens Association All rights reserved

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