It’s springtime! As flowers bloom, wildlife reemerges, and winter becomes but a memory, nature centers and parks throughout the country are preparing for renewed foot traffic on their outdoor trails. Each warm weekend brings more people outside, and it is our nature centers that can offer the most rewarding spring adventures. What is one of the best ways to engage these visitors, hungry for both adventure and education? Simple but dynamic interpretive outdoor trail signs!
Does your park or nature center lack interpretive trail signage? Or do you have outdated, stale, boring signs that are due for an upgrade? No worries at all! With but small effort and without spending a lot of money, sites can create and install effective trail signs that satisfy even the most nature-hungry spring visitors!
Here are a number of helpful suggestions to help you plan your own outdoor trail signs!
- What do you want the overall message of your trail signs to be? Pick a central theme that will flow throughout all trail signs at your site. For example, “Smith Nature Center has a unique mix of habitats that allow both wildlife and humans to flourish.” Every single sign should somehow relate back to this theme, so that visitors come away with a coherent message.
- Where do you want your trail signs to be? Pick the specific locations where you feel trail signs will be the most powerful. For example, what are your “wow sites” that are the most pristine and beautiful? Which sites are the most popular with your visitors? Which ones do you wish more of your visitors saw? Which sites are powerful but need the help of interpretation to explain why they are powerful? Answering such questions can help you determine where you should place your new trail signs.
- Get visitors to see and do more. In your trail signs, make sure to remind visitors of what they can see at the visitor center, on the other trails, and elsewhere at your site. Use the signs as an opportunity to inform visitors of your park’s many offerings.
- Use a consistent style throughout all of your trail signs. Graphics, imagery, and verbiage should be stylistically similar – each sign should not be seen as an entity in itself, but rather part of a consistent whole.
Any questions? Always feel free to contact us – we have been blessed to create outdoor trail signs for parks and nature centers all throughout the country. And most importantly, have fun – with spring comes new opportunities to engage your visitors, excite their interests, and make them fall in love with your site all over again!