Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
EXHIBITS IN PLACE
PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF EXHIBITS IN PLACE
By Dorr G. Yeager.
In planning an exhibit in place several things should be kept in mind. If it is far from a road or if it requires exertion on the part of the tourist to reach it, the subject should be of sufficient interest to warrant that exertion. If several exhibits occur in the same locality it is obvious that they should be connected by a single trail. The topography should be studied in order to ascertain the easiest approach. The permanency of the exhibit should govern the amount of work expended on its development. The geysers of Yellowstone are a good examples. Often a new geyser breaks out but no definite steps are taken to development of it until it is assured that it is permanent.
First in the development of an exhibit in place comes the factor of making it accessible. If it is a major attraction which will attract thousands it may be well to build a road, keeping in mind, of course the policy of keeping roads cut of wilderness areas. Other wise a trail will suffice. A good system of trail markings with distances & directions are necessary. The exhibit should be fully labeled. The value of the exhibit will determine the amount of development necessary. A shelter may be needed to keep it intact, if so, this shelter should be built. It may be necessary to keep tourists at a distance from it, either to protect the object or to protect the tourists. Rails may have to be installed. If the subject warrants, a miniature trailside museum may be built up around it.
Maintenance and Use:
The upkeep of such an exhibit is important. Broken signs should be replaced with new ones; railings, etc. repaired as occasion demands. An exhibit in place should receive the same attention as far as orderliness as a museum itself. Papers should be picked up and debris should be removed, keeping the area as much as possible in the state in which it was originally discovered. The subject of use resolves itself into the problem of getting tourists to visit the exhibit. Many times such an exhibit may either be included in a field trip or may be the objective of the trip. If it is too far for trail trips the object can be given as much publicity as possible through signs, lectures, leaflets, etc., and persons urged to pay it a visit.