Interpretive Planning

An Interpretive Plan determines management goals, key messages, and the targeted audiences for the area. Recommended interpretive site development of your site will interpret (explain) the significance of the area’s natural and cultural history for your targeted audiences which may include: local residents, area elementary schools, and university students and researchers. Key benefits to having a written Interpretive Plan are:

  • The process helps determine priorities, frame decisions, and focus efforts.
  • The planning process helps to de-personalize decisions and seeks input and “buy-in” from stakeholders such as local residents, co-managers, local agency and community partners.
  • The Interpretive Plan helps site managers develop the most cost-effective and sustainable interpretation and education methods to meet management goals and priorities.
  • The Interpretive Plan enhances visitor experiences while meeting the management goal of protecting natural and cultural resources and enhancing stewardship.
  • The Interpretive Plan shows grant funders and outside stakeholders that you have a well-thought out, and workable plan to move forward in your goal to explain the area’s natural and cultural history for your targeted audience.

We will likely go through these general steps[i].

  • Prepare for planning: read or review legislation, other plans and guidelines, and key resource and audience information; solicit input from others who won’t be in the planning group.
  • Identify and achieve consensus on the scope of the plan, and on overall goals and issues; include visitor experience, themes, resource, and management goals and issues.
  • Collect information and assess current conditions; include information on visitors, cultural and natural environment, media, programs and other visitor activities, issues, goals, other plans, etc.
  • Determine the best ways to achieve goals and provide desired experiences through interpretive media, facilities, activities, and contact with resources.

We will provide recommendations on how to deliver the identified key messages to the targeted audiences with the most effective interpretive products and programs, including, but not limited to:

Interpretive Panels  Exhibits  Trail design  Publications  Special Events

The interpretive plan will include implementation priorities and design guidelines, narrative and conceptual sketches of any interpretive designs (trails, informative signs, educational settings, etc.) will be included as guidelines for those implementing the plan (writers, interpreters, landscape architects, graphic designers, and other artisans/craftsmen). If requested, we will detail cost estimates and supervise general project construction.

WJU Entrance
William Jessup Preserve

McReynolds’ Relevant Experience

Lead, William Jessup Preserve Interpretive Project 2007 – 2009 Rocklin, CA.

  • Supervised the interpretive planning process and construction for William Jessup University that created a $50K public use interpretive trail with educational areas and full color professional signage on the grounds of a small preserve with a reservoir pond and vernal pool complex.

Co-Director, Jaguar Creek  2002. Lowland rainforest near Belmopan, Belize.

  • 2002. Conducted a series of interpretation training sessions for Blue Hole National Park rangers to improve educational presentations for the general public and for children.
  • 2004. Identified interpretive themes and constructed a new interpretive trail with map, numbered posts and brochure, through the forest and around the disappearing creek and caves.

Extensive Interpretive Experience: See Education


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