Primary Interpretive Themes
Story is the communication tool most effective for facilitating an exploration of resource meanings. Societies depend on the power of story to explore, clarify, and share ideas, meanings, beliefs, and values that collectively constitute culture. Story is at the heart of human interaction and, consequently, at the heart of heritage interpretation.
Parks develop a set of overarching stories to organize the largest-scale ideas and meanings related to the park’s resources. These stories are called primary interpretive themes. The set of themes is developed to fully capture, and express in story format, the content of the park’s entire set of significance statements. The set is complete when it provides opportunities for people to explore and relate to all of the significance statements.
A - With one of the largest and most colorful deposits of mineralized wood in the world, as well as a globally significant fossil record of early Mesozoic plants and archosaurs, the Petrified Forest elicits a sense of wonder and discovery that invites enjoyable learning.
B - The richly fossiliferous exposures of the Late Triassic Chinle Formation in Petrified Forest National Park constantly yield new specimens, new data, and new knowledge of the past that continually enrich our understanding of the world in which we live.
C - The evocative scenic vistas of Petrified Forest National Park compel contemplation of the connections between self, place, and time.
D - The continuing importance of the park’s heritage resources to associated people – the abundant evidence of use and occupancy in what might seem to some as an uninhabitable land – offers opportunities to explore the powerful and complex concept of “homeland.”
E - The recovering remnant of native grassland and steppe protected in Petrified Forest National Park invites contemplation of the value of parks as places of refuge, healing, and rejuvenation.
Did You Know?
Petrified wood at Petrified Forest National Park is almost solid quartz, weighing in at 168 pounds per cubic foot. It's so hard, you can only cut it with a diamond tipped saw! More...