Light Up People’s Brains with Music

  When I was in the third grade, Lloyd Higgerson, the music teacher, came to our class and introduced the opportunity to be in the band. I wanted to play trumpet and my parents bought the instrument and encouraged me to practice. And practice. And practice some more. It was lots more pressure than IContinue reading “Light Up People’s Brains with Music”

The Interpretive Farm, Oz Style

  We were recently driving south from Melbourne to Phillip Island in Australia to watch the amazing emergence of 16,000 little penguins from the ocean at dusk. Along the highway we spotted a series of signs much like the old Burma Shave signs in the U.S., which were sequences of messages that pique your interest.Continue reading “The Interpretive Farm, Oz Style”

5 Ways to Turn T-shirts into Memorabilia with a Message

I love owning, wearing and buying t-shirts. They are comfortable, usually inexpensive, and serve as a palette for art and messaging. I can think of five good reasons to use them at interpretive sites and in social marketing campaigns as a way to promote your mission and message.   Brand Recognition – At its simplest,Continue reading “5 Ways to Turn T-shirts into Memorabilia with a Message”

Matching Mission and Message Zooperbly

We recently enjoyed training twenty-eight interpretive professionals from Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania in a day-long interpretive planning workshop at the Melbourne Zoo. Zoo personnel kindly invited us to explore the Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, two of the three Victoria Zoos, in our remaining days in the Melbourne area and we took themContinue reading “Matching Mission and Message Zooperbly”

Brewing Up Fun Down Under

On a recent trip to Perth, our host Rusty Creighton promised a great coffee break during one of our outings and what he had in store surpassed even my exacting coffee-craving expectations. Yahava KoffeeWorks is an oasis that blends calm and caffeine, nestled among the vineyards of Swan Valley.   The coffee place overlooks aContinue reading “Brewing Up Fun Down Under”

Six ways to Put Interpretation On Your Manager’s Agenda

I was at the National Park Service training facilities in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, when Mike Watson (then superintendent) said to me, “Interpretation is management.” I had heard our profession described as a management tool for decades, but if it’s only a tool, it’s one of those used too infrequently. I tend to agree withContinue reading “Six ways to Put Interpretation On Your Manager’s Agenda”

Community Action in Action

  One of the things that immediately strikes travelers to Rwanda is how clean the country is. In all the places I’ve been, including the U.S., litter on the ground is a serious issue. You see it almost everywhere, blowing in the wind, lining gutters, hanging where it’s been caught on fences, floating in waterways.Continue reading “Community Action in Action”

Crowdfunding – No Silver Bullet

If you manage a program, I’m guessing one of the things constantly on your to-do list is raising funds for a variety of projects. It’s a great fantasy to imagine there’s some new simple system, a silver bullet that will eliminate the hard work traditionally associated with fundraising. The ease of Internet access in theContinue reading “Crowdfunding – No Silver Bullet”

5 Reasons to Share Personal Stories

When I was a young boy I spent every free hour wading in the Town Branch, a local stream near my home in Vandalia, Illinois. I was looking for crawdads, my favorite critter in nature, but I studied everything else that turned up around them. Tadpoles, minnows, turtles and mud puppies were always fun encountersContinue reading “5 Reasons to Share Personal Stories”

A Flipchart Survey

This very simple survey method at a special event caught my eye last year at the Larimer County Farmers’ Market in Fort Collins, Colorado, where we live. When I managed a nature center for thirteen years in Pueblo, special events were the lifeblood of our fundraising and they attracted thousands of people to our site.Continue reading “A Flipchart Survey”