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A Key For Interpretation

A model for developing content and experience in national parks and reserves in Israel

Adar Stolero Malihi

Mentor — Dr. Elad Persov
Design Management and Innovation track

When visiting nature reserves and national parks, visitors encounter guidance and information such as a trail, sign, exhibit or video. The range of media used for this purpose is known as interpretation. This work studied the steps of the interpretive planning process by identifying methods and principles in various sites in Israel and the world, in order to design an optimal interpretation planning process for sites managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The study revealed that the authority lacks a structured work process, that planning methods are irregular and that no continuous evaluation and organizational learning take place. The site’s manager involvement in the planning process is low, therefore managerial and operational constraints are not always taken into consideration. The site characterization on which interpretive planning is based does not arise from user research or awareness with all relevant infrastructure and content components, and therefore the interpretive planning does not meet the needs of all users and stakeholders. Finally, in contrast to the world trend of public participation, the authority does little to involve the public. In response to the research findings, the Key Model for interpretive planning was created, with important milestones focusing on the characterization phase. This phase is implemented using a digital tool, designed to meet the site manager’s needs. This tool serves as a basis for sharing and control, for storing organizational information and for creating a unified terminology in the field.

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Adar Stolero Malihi

The author is a content manager at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. She holds a B.Ed, specializing in environmental studies and Israel studies, and is also a certified tour guide. In recent years, she has been involved in content planning, experience and illustration in nature reserves and national parks in central Israel and is a member of the steering committee of the Israeli Interpretation Organization - Interpret IL.

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