Julie Coombes
Julie Coombes
Interpretive Master Planner
Texas Parks and Wildlife

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What is interpretation? How do we make a connection between between the resource, the meaning of the resource, and the visitor?

Interpretation helps give perspective and meaning to a place, idea or experience. Writing for interpretation means identifying the "take home message" and using "universalities" -- feelings and concepts common to everyone.

You probably have a feel for the size of this area.

But how big is this marsh?

With two busses over the picture, do you have a better idea of how big this area really is? Interpretation helps you find meaning in things and places by relating to something you probably understand or have experienced.

Writing for an exhibit takes special skills. You must tell a big story in a small space. This panel introduces visitors to the LBJ park using only a few words.

These panels were created by Wanda Olszewski (Interpreter) and Ed Woten (Artist) at Hueco Tanks.

Even small signs are tools for interpretation. Text is carefully chosen for these small areas.

Interpretation is also done through programs. This interpreter at Sauer-Beckmann farm is giving a living history presentation.

Living history presentations at Palo Duro by costumed interpreters create a sence of traveling back through time.

Some interpreters, such as Tom Olsen at Sheldon Lake State Park, teach while taking people on hikes through the natural areas at the park. Writing for small signs, fliers and even interpretive talks means finding the memorable "take home message" for visitors.

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