National Park Service

State of the Park Reports

State of the Park Report for Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Visitor Experience

Jolly Boat Rides Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Jolly Boat Rides at Salem Maritime National Historic Site

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Visitor Numbers and Visitor Satisfaction Brief - The Visitor Center
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Number of Visitors Number of visitors per year Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; low confidence in the assessment. The total of 737,073 visitors to the park in 2011 is higher than that of 2009 (723,088) but lower than 2010 (806,506). The 2011 total is also lower than the 10-year average of 760,828 visitors for 2001–2010. Confidence in these figures is low-moderate due to the reliance on staff to observe and record all visitor activity by hand (manual clicker)—and the fluid nature of visitor use/activities in an urban park environment.
Visitor Satisfaction Percent of visitors who were satisfied with their visit Resource is in good condition; condition is deteriorating; medium confidence in the assessment. Based on the standard visitor satisfaction survey conducted each year, the percent of visitors satisfied (rating of "good" or "very good") in FY12 was 88%, down from 96% the previous year. Additionally, the FY12 satisfaction rate is below both the previous 5-year average (FY06–FY10) of 95% and the 10-year average (FY01–FY10) of 96%.
Visitor Understanding Percent of visitors who leave understanding the site's significance Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is deteriorating; low confidence in the assessment. Based on survey results, approximately 70% of visitors in 2012 left with an understanding of core themes of the park, down from 83% in 2011. Confidence in this figure is low because the visitor survey mechanism used for this measurement is subjective and often misinterpreted by visitors.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Interpretive and Education Programs -
  Talks, Tours, and Special Events
Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Brief - Special Events
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Education Programs Number and quality of programs, and number of participants Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Park interpreters presented 52 programs in 2011 to 2,028 participating students. Number of participants can vary based on whether Friendship of Salem is in port and open. These measures both show a decrease from FY10, when there were 159 educational programs presented to 5,909 students. This decrease is due to changes and reductions in staff.
Ranger Programs Number and quality of programs and attendance Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Many changes in staff and programs have occurred in the past several years. West India Goods Store was closed in 2011, and the hours of the Narbonne House and Custom House were decreased in 2009. The format of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday tours was also changed in 2011. These changes were offset by increasing the number of Friendship staff, and the beginning of hands-on programs on-board.
There were 1,051 formal interpretation programs in FY11, with 7,950 visitor contacts, down from the 1,242 formal interpretation programs in FY10 resulting in 5,899 visitor contacts.
The park also provided 521 demonstrations in FY11, with 14,127 visitor contacts. In FY10, 19,995 visitor contacts occurred due to 927 demonstrations and/or performing arts events.
FY10: 1,242 formal interpretation programs with 5,899 visitor contacts; 927 demonstrations with 19,995 visitor contacts.
Junior Ranger Programs Number of programs and attendance Resource is in good condition; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. 2,245 Junior Rangers were sworn in during FY11, down from 3,566 in FY10.
Special Events Variety and longevity of events, community involvement Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Many special events in Salem are coordinated by park staff and are centered on park features and interpretive themes. Special events include: the annual Maritime Festival, Trails and Sails, Haunted Happenings, 17th Century Saturdays, black powder demonstrations, theater groups on board the Friendship. Park helps train extra volunteers for some special events. Brief - Special Events

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Friendship of Salem Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.Brief - Friendship of Salem
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Structural Integrity Condition of hull components Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Some areas are being repaired while others are being deferred, active monitoring and inspections for most areas, some areas have yet to be surveyed due to the labor involved with accessing them
Condition of rigging Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Active inspections and correction of most problems, planning has been performed on known deficiencies with some corrected and others deferred
Docking and Mooring Facilities Overall Condition Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Both park floating docks were surveyed in 2012. No critical issues were identified, some remediation has been implemented (painting and anodes), other remediation and corrective actions are deferred.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Interpretive Media -
  Brochures, Exhibits, Signs, and Website
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Wayside Signs Condition and currency of signs Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. All wayside signs were replaced and updated in 2011.
Park Directional Signs (off-site) Usefulness, quantity, and placement Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Signs directing visitors to site from various roads and highways. Signs are helpful, but have aged and need cyclical maintenance. New pedestrian signs have been placed around the town of Salem.
Exhibits Orientation Center Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. Exhibits have been in place for at least ten years. While the content is still relevant, the presentation needs to be evaluated and refreshed.
Visitor Center Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. Themes presented are incomplete and disjointed; portions of exhibits have been removed and not replaced. Overall exhibit plan is needed. Brief - Visitor Center
Narbonne House Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. Used to be staffed during the summer; is now a tour only. Content is relevant but overall it needs refreshing. Inside text panels need updating. Compelling stories are not being adequately told.
Custom House/ Bonded Warehouse/ Scale House Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. Custom House used to be staffed during the summer; is now a tour only. Others are open during visitor hours. Maintenance issues are affecting overall visitor experience. Internal signage and text panels are correct but need refreshing.
Derby House Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Open by tour only. Currently undergoing structural and maintenance renovation and will reopen in late 2012. Renovation presents the opportunity to evaluate and refresh exhibits as part of reopening.
Derby Wharf Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Waysides on the wharf are new and in good condition. Erosion of wharf could affect visitor experience and exhibits in the future.
Friendship of Salem Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Working ship, which has become a major and iconic attraction of the park and community. Many exhibits are hands-on. Ship is a reproduction and combines historically accurate elements as well as modern safety and accessibility features. Interpretation is highly dependent on staff services. When ship is away, overall visitor experience is negatively affected. Brief - Friendship of Salem
Print Media Accuracy and availability of primary park publications Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. Excellent materials have been developed but have run out and need to be reprinted. Park brochure is up-to-date. Partner- and park-produced publications are not being actively maintained due to funding issues. Park does not have a long-term, sustainable model for ongoing publications.
Audio-visual Media Orientation Films Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Three films are shown in the park. One is new; the others are 15–20 years old. While the content is relevant, older films need to be reviewed and the technology for all films needs to be updated.
Other AV material Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Examples include: audio tour of Salem (podcast), visitor-activated audio, interactive digital slide show that provides orientation to the city and park. Podcast distribution is via the park website only and is under-used. Other audio tools are unreliable and prone to breakdowns.
Websites Currency and scope of SAMA website; number of website visitors Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Website is frequently updated with new information and overall presents good breadth of content. Park does not have a webmaster and outdated information is not regularly reviewed or removed. Lack of technological knowledge among staff prevents developing and maintaining site to its full potential.
Social media: Facebook updates and "likes," overall activity Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Park has established Facebook and Twitter pages, plus a YouTube channel. Over 600 "likes" on Facebook.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Accessibility Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Mobility ADA compliance Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Orientation Center, Visitor Center, and Friendship of Salem are all ADA compliant with the exception of automatic doors. Other structures are not accessible and it may not be possible (or desirable due to historic integrity) to retrofit all to become compliant. Alternatives for interpretation (waysides, virtual tours, slide shows) needed if access is not possible. Wharf and associated exhibits are compliant.
Visual Accommodation ADA compliance Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Audio tour (Podcast) is available from park website but is under-used and not reaching all audiences. Large-print park brochure is available. Film programs do not include descriptive audio; websites are 508-compliant.
Auditory accommodation ADA compliance Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Two of the three park films are captioned (however, one is not working); YouTube videos need captioning. No transcriptions available for ranger programs or tours.
Public transportation Access to park via public transportation Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Access to park is possible via commuter rail, buses, and trolleys during the summer and fall months. Salem also provides free bicycle lending program.
Multi-lingual resources Audio and print materials in multiple languages Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Park has visitors that represent a range of countries and languages. Visitor Center auditorium film is available (via headset) in four languages (English, Spanish, German, French) but is currently not functional. Unigrid and other print materials are in English only. Translation assistance may be an excellent opportunity for volunteers' assistance.
Bi-lingual staff Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. At least two staff members speak Spanish. Special events, in particular, could benefit from multi-lingual staff or volunteers.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Safety Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Number of law enforcement incidents Recordable incidents Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Limited number of case incidents, largely due to presence of uniformed staff and patrols. As an urban park, staff cooperates regularly with local law enforcement. Eleven recordable incidents in 2012. Police/fire response time to park is less than five minutes.
Number of accidents or injuries Recordable incidents Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Very few incidents; most assistance is no more than basic first aid. One recordable incident in 2012. EMS response time to park is less than five minutes.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Partnerships Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Volunteers Number and hours contributed Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Volunteers are essential, regular members of the park operations team in Interpretation, Education, Marine and Cultural Resource divisions. 14,510 hours contributed by 291 volunteers in 2012.
Partnerships Number of official and unofficial partnerships Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Examples of current partners include: City of Salem, Essex National Heritage Area, Salem Partnership, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Schooner Fame, Salem State University and more. Ongoing partnership with the U.S. Navy and USS Constitution: sail training is conducted annually on the Friendship of Salem.

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Last Updated: June 25, 2014 Contact Webmaster