Workshop Series: Strengthening Colombia National Parks' Interpretation Capacity

September 18, 2017
Workshop Series: Strengthening Colombia National Parks' Interpretation Capacity

The ICCF International Conservation Corps has initiated on-the-ground work in Tayrona National Park to carry out workshops that will strengthen the interpretation and communication capacities for the park.

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The International Conservation Corps, through technical and financial support, continues advancing their goal of strategic interpretive planning of PNN for both short- and long-term utilization, by analyzing and incorporating the needs of visitors and discovering ways to improve the interpretation of the park, through recommendations on services and programs.

September 18, 2017

Sam Vaughn and Carolyn Richard, members of ICCF’s International Conservation Corps, joined staff from the Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (PNN) at Tayrona National Park to help conduct an exhibit and interpretive media planning and design workshop. The project focused on the Chairama Visitor Center complex, which has been closed for ten years and must be redesigned to reopen. The workshop provided exhibit design training to 25 people from the national, territorial, Corales del Rosario, Amacayacu, Gorgona, and Tayrona park offices. Sessions included a wide range of exhibit design techniques and information presented by International Conservation Corps team members and PNN staff. The workshop concluded successfully with the development of prototypes for three exhibits and one orientation wayside exhibit including a formative evaluation involving another 40 Tayrona park employees, including concession staff, in a review of the mockup exhibits.

Additionally, it was possible to establish a base team at the national level of PNN to develop this type of workshop in national parks that have space to develop interpretive centers. In this way, the International Conservation Corps continues to make progress in achieving the goal, through technical and financial support, to contribute to improving the conditions of the visitor’s experience through the renovation of spaces that facilitate orientation, education, and interpretation of the heritage of national parks in Colombia.

Read the team's report here.

May 10, 2017

With the objective of continuing to plan visitor interpretation and interaction with Colombia’s natural parks, ICCF’s International Conservation Corps conducted its third field mission in Tayrona National Park, from May 2-16, in conjunction with Parques Naturales Nacionales (from the local and the national levels) and the National Park Service of the United States.

The project includes the planning of two important park elements: land utilization and visitor interpretation. Land architects visited the site, bringing technical support with initial recommendations to improve visitor experiences and yield improved use of the current infrastructure of the park, including identifying the most appropriate places for the flow of visitors, location of services such as bathrooms, water fountains, and others.

The project also included a week-long interpretive planning workshop, including two days with forty representatives from local communities involved in the park such as indigenous groups, ecotourism experts in the community, and public relations representatives for the park. The workshop sought to define concepts such as interpretation, education, information, and orientation; develop the interpretive mark; define and prioritize interpretive services; and establish steps to continue the construction of interpretive planning of Tayrona Park.

April 16, 2016

After the conclusion of this work, personnel will visit with Corales National Park's staff (April 22-28) to understand the park and identify the type of interpretive activities, messages, and elements that will be installed at the pier known as "La Bodeguita."

The Conservation Corps team is comprised of three retired experts from the U.S. National Park Service: Sam Vaughn, who served as Executive Director of Interpretation Planning; Carolyn Richard, who served as Executive Director of Interpretation for Carlsbad Cabers, National Mall and Memorial, and Grand Teton National Parks; and Ellis Richard, who served as Executive Director of Interpretation for Grand Canyon National Park and Superintendent of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This is a team with great knowledge and experience in interpretation planning, visitor center management relating to interpretation and design of activities, development of printed materials, and environmental education, in addition to others. The team will be in Colombia April 16th -April 30th, accompanied by the Colombian National Natural Parks personnel in charge of Interpretation and Communication at the central, territorial, and park levels.

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