Interpretation and Education
What is Interpretation?
"Interpretation" can mean many things. It can mean the translation of languages, perceptions about poems or novels, how a person feels about a historic building, or thinks about a scientific theory.
In the National Park Service, other agencies and many zoos and aquaria around the world, Interpretation is the process of providing each visitor with the opportunity to personally connect with a place. Each individual may connect to the place in a different way...some visitors might feel an emotional or spiritual connection to a place, others might feel a more intellectual connection. Some may not connect immediately, but everyone should have an opportunity to explore how that special place is meaningful to them.
How do we provide opportunities to connect? It might be that a ranger 's discussion of a scenic vista or an historic building inspires a connection. An interpretive sign, film or exhibit might also provoke a connection. Sometimes, just being in these amazing places is enough.
The goal of all interpretive services is to increase each visitor's enjoyment and understanding of the parks, and to allow and encourage visitors to care about the parks on their own terms.