Other Relevant Networks

Interested in wilderness? Check out Connect!

Interpretive Services


Interpretive Services

Community of interpretive specialists, managers, planners, and graphic designers

Members: 57
Latest Activity: Jan 13

Welcome to RecLink - Interpretive Services Group

All Things Interpretive..

  1. We have new Directives for Interpretive Services FSM 2390wo_2390.doc  A big thank you to everyone who assisted with updating our manual chapter.  Please read and become familiar with the procedures outlined in the new directives.
  2. I am happy to announce the five nominees for the National Gifford Pinchot Excellence in Interpretation and Education Award.  They are:  Elizabeth Burke, Northern Region; Henry Herrera Pacific Southwest Region; Susan Thomas, Pacific Northwest Region; Victoria Houser, Alaska Region; and Carlos Dominguez Cristobal, International Institute of Tropical Forestry.  Congratulations to each nominee for their dedication and outstanding work.  The national recipient will be announced at the agency award ceremony during the National Association for Interpretation Workshop, in St. Paul Minnesota, November 8-12
  3. As summer begins to wind down, FALL is to think about "going back to school", training and enhancing your professional skills.  I encourage you to develop an Individual Development Plan for FY2012, in Ag Learn, and to continue your professional growth and development.

Thank you for your sustained efforts to connect people with their national forests and grasslands!

Kristen Nelson

Discussion Forum

International Heritage Interpretation Blog (also in Spanish)

Started by Jon Kohl. Last reply by Jon Kohl Jan 13. 4 Replies

Dear folks, As you know interpretation is an established profession in the United States and a handful of other developed countries. But for the rest of the world, where interpretation has been heard…Continue

Tags: kohl, jon, interpretation, heritage

Scout Creates QR Codes for Signs on Nature Park's Trail Network

Started by Francisco Valenzuela Dec 22, 2012. 0 Replies

There are a great number of sites that can be modified to add this technology to their program. It would be good for us to help our young kids and college students to help us begin offering this…Continue

Interpretive Specialist needed for help on drafting a Sign Plan Outline for Reclink's Library!

Started by Jessica Dunn Apr 29, 2011. 0 Replies

Hello all,Lauren Lesch (WO MLA PMF) and myself (R3 RO MLA Intern) have been working on restructuring/redesigning the Design and Planning section of the RecLink Library. We are providing, under the…Continue

Controlled Recreation Activity List for WWW Portal

Started by Donavan Albert. Last reply by Dennis G Garcia Dec 16, 2010. 1 Reply

The WWW Portal team is looking for involvement from the recreation community to help us manage the controlled recreation activity used in WWW Portal.  It wouldn’t require much time or effort.  We’re…Continue

Tags: management, change, list, activities, portal

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Interpretive Services to add comments!

Comment by Francisco Valenzuela on May 23, 2012 at 9:49pm

Time Kids Spend Outdoors
The National Kids Survey (NKS) has been ongoing since the fall of 2007. This IRIS report provides an update of findings from the NKS, up to early 2012. The survey has been conducted as a telephone interview with households across the country with children ages 6 to 19. Data about kids 6 to 15 was provided by a household adult answering for the young person selected. Over the life of the NKS, percentages of youth spending four or more hours per day outdoors on both weekdays or weekend days have been larger than percentages

Read more:


Comment by Francisco Valenzuela on January 30, 2012 at 4:43pm

Good afternoon all,

DOI-ITAP is currently recruiting for a team to provide technical assistance in Morocco in interpretation planning, designing wayfinding guides and informational materials, and site-specific and system-wide messaging.

Please contact Colleen Castle with any questions regarding this assignment. She can also be reached at 202-208-5160.

Please see the attached recruitment announcement for further information. The announcement is also available on our website at

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The final deadline for applying is February 12th. Please submit applications to Colleen Castle at the email address below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ITAP office.

Thank you,

Colleen Castle

Project Assistant
International Technical Assistance Program
Department of the Interior
1849 C St. NW
MS 3530
Washington, DC 20240

Office: 202.208.5160
Fax: 202.501.6381


Comment by Francisco Valenzuela on January 27, 2012 at 12:29pm

Her e is an example of some great work for Kids!
As promised, I am sending you some background information on the project.
We are working with seven Children’s Forests around the country, one of which is Coronado, and identifying one or two Nature Champions who will work closely with their Children’s Forest at each site. NEEF will provide a train-the-trainer webinar for the Nature Champions in late February/March (date to be determined), as well as technical support, tools and resources, including a PowerPoint presentation created by medical experts, and Nature Kits which include prescription pads, patient brochures, and pediatric environmental history forms in English and Spanish. (Available at ). We will offer Continuing Education credits for the webinar. Nature Champions will also receive $400 honorarium. We are asking the Nature Champions to write prescriptions for their patients to visit Children’s Forests and train 25 other local providers within a year.
I have also attached a flyer which summarized the overall initiative, as well as the prescription and the patient brochure.





Comment by Francisco Valenzuela on September 15, 2011 at 10:31am


Logic models and interpreation

Stewardship – A Measure of SuccessAs I talk to colleagues, I am really aware that some of us simply view stewardship in a vague positive way. It is seen as worthy, important and mandated by our mission statements. We used conservation for many decades in this way and then sustainability in more recent years. When required to describe what are the results of stewardship, conservation and sustainability, we are often vague.

When economic downturns land on us such as this current one with a threat of a double dip recession, programs with vague measures of success are usually the first cut. Stewardship can be translated into RESULTS. Logic models are the modern measuring tools being suggested or in some sectors, mandated. Many foundations now require a logic model with the application to even be considered. The Kellogg Foundation has been a leader in teaching nonprofits how to write logic models. Some government agencies that give out grants money are now requiring them as well. Deluged with requests, these giving programs want to know what RESULTS they may expect for their investments.

I find logic models comforting. They identify the RESULTs we want in definite terms. They take big ideas about the impact desired and translate them into specific measures of success or RESULTS aligned with a goal. For example if we have operated a community nature center in a water-stressed community, we might have a goal like:

GOAL: Encourage stewardship of water resources in the community.

We have to ask the question – What would be a measurable result of that goal? We have to write objectives that reflect change and that reasonably can be measured on a regular basis. An IMPACT OBJECTIVE for this goal might be:


• Reduce per capita consumption of water in this district by 5% over the next five years.

That can reasonably be measured by the water district. The next question becomes, what changes in citizen behavior will achieve that? It’s best to work backwards in logic models from IMPACT to OUTCOMES (desired human behavior). Some OUTCOMES or behaviors that could be measured might be:

• 500 People a year will attend Home Savings Workshops.

• Sale of Xeriscape plants in our local nurseries will increase by 12% per year

• Sale of low water demand sod will increase by 15% per year in the community

• Sale of low water usage plumbing fixtures will increase by 10% at area plumbing outlets

These outcomes all reflect the desired behavior changes that might lead to the desired IMPACT of lessened per capita water usage. Then the question becomes, what will we do to get these OUTCOMES. What will be our OUTPUTS.

Historically most of us have been taught to work the other direction. What programs do we want to do? What services will we provide? What will we sell in our nature center shops? We usually develop programs and services without knowing what we want as RESULTS.

In a logic model, the desired IMPACT and OUTCOMES drive the programming. In this example, the OUTPUTS might be:

• Offer a weekly Home Savings Workshop to teach homeowners about saving money by converting suburban/urban yards and bathrooms to water saving options.

• Offer a free outreach workshop to cooperating landscape contractors, nurseries and plumbing businesses that will promote water stewardship and track sale of related items.

• Host an annual tour of xeriscaped yards that show off the best examples with interpretive materials that relate the cost savings and positive benefits.

• Develop partnership agreements with the water department, sewage department and parks department to share data on water usage per capita in the community.

This may seem contrived but it is very similar to a specific Logic Model developed for a new Stewardship Center in Cleveland, Ohio, several years ago. Also, Logic Models can be a great tool for partnerships and collaborative effort because they identify specific results to build agreement among collaborators.

In this process you must monitor the data developed to see how you are doing and change OUTPUTS as necessary to keep working toward desired OUTCOMES. The Logic Model is a roadmap to success in measurable terms.

Some organizations still operate on the vague notion of stewardship but the pressure is on most of us to show RESULTS. NAI interpretive planning courses focus on teaching how to write logic models. The first time you write a Logic Model it is challenging but it gets easier each year and the payoff is considerable. You know what you are trying to accomplish, not just hoping for better circumstances.

- Tim Merriman

stewardship a measure of sucess

Comment by Jon Kohl on July 13, 2011 at 3:33pm
Hello, I just joined the group and i'm not sure if it's protocol to introduce ourselves, but I'll take the risk. My name is Jon Kohl and I live in Costa Rica. My interest is public use planning and management in protected areas for which I have collaborated with UNESCO and others. My great passion is however heritage interpretation for which I have been a planner with Fermata, Inc., a sanctuary naturalist and zoo educator, as well as a writer on the topic. I invite people to read some of my pieces at and I look forward to the conversations in this group. Thank you to Francisco Valenzuela for inviting me to Rec Link.
Comment by Sandra G. Skrien on June 13, 2011 at 3:46pm
I agree, really nice ad. 
Comment by Francisco Valenzuela on June 13, 2011 at 2:31pm

Great Ad that is based on the Benefits based approach to Recreation Management, even if they did not know it, check it out.


USDA Forest Service and Ad Council Launch New PSAs to Re-connect Families and Kids with Nature (Re-connect families is the marketing value)

Be sure to watch the video link included in this...

Comment by Francisco Valenzuela on February 1, 2011 at 10:54am



Cachelin, Adrienne; Paisley, Karen; and Dustin, Dan (2009) "Opportunity and Obligation: A Role for Outdoor Educators in the Sustainability Revolution," Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership: Vol. 1: Iss. 2, Article 3.


A primary educational challenge of the 21st century is to inspire students to become socially and ecologically conscientious citizens who are empowered, responsible members of the larger world. Outdoor educators and, in many ways, outdoor recreation as a broader field are well-suited to take the lead in this educational enterprise that requires transcending the dichotomy between people and nature to see ourselves in the Leopoldian tradition as plain members and citizens of a larger community of life. Drawing on the strengths of constructivism as a pedagogical approach, outdoor recreation as a pedagogical context, and the inherent compatibility of the big ideas of ecology and recreation, we assert that outdoor educators, specifically those involved with higher education at the curricular level, have both an opportunity and an obligation to be vanguards of the sustainability revolution. Keywords: outdoor education, outdoor recreation, sustainability, sustainability education

Available at:

Comment by Kristen Nelson on January 14, 2011 at 7:41am
Two great resources: Phil Sammon, Office of Communication-WO and Donavan Albert, National Webmaster-OC-WO.  Both are well versed in social media and are tryng to maneuver us into the 21st century.  Phil will represent the FS on the social media panel at the APPL conference.  Good luck with your studies and working with FS.  Kristen
Comment by Travis Mason-Bushman on January 13, 2011 at 6:30pm

Thanks, everyone.

I'm currently working to develop a new/social media interpretive plan for the Tongass NF's Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau - director Ron Marvin is very enthusiastic about the possibilities offered.

As a first step, I'm hoping to move forward with launching an MGVC Twitter account in the next few weeks, pending approval from the Tongass PAO.

Planned content would be a mix of news updates, upcoming events, tidbits about the glacier and its ecosystem ("Wednesday Wildlife Fact", etc.), photos and safety messages.

We would also strive to be interactive, responding to visitor questions, posting visitor photos/media, etc. I believe one of the most powerful positive aspects of social media for us is the ability to create and connect a lasting network/community of National Forest visitors - whether they're camping out every week or stopping at a visitor center for an hour, get our messages into their lifestream.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are the platforms I have the most experience with (as a journalism student, I founded and managed a social media-integrated sports blog)... it's a pity we're restricted from using two of those three!

I'm pursuing the possibility of being hired through SCEP, so I can apply my masters' research to make an on-the-ground difference to forest visitors.


Members (57)


© 2018   Created by Matt Arnn.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service