Public Outreach, Marketing, and Interpretation Skills and Competencies

Database management; website development; trail and facility inventories; trail assessment and maintenance records; identifying and gathering needed information.

by American Trails Staff

Skills for Signs and Communications

  • Create a well-designed system of trail signs, interpretive services, and brochures
  • Provide appropriate signs with clear information in the right places while avoiding clutter
  • Inform trail users on rules, allowable uses, fees, and ways to participate in management recommendations
  • Use GPS, cell phone, iPod and other new technologies to deliver trail interpretive messages and advisories

Skills for Public Information

  • Identifying information needs and goals for online information
  • Provide the information needed through newsletters, emails, and websites
  • Create public presentations on key topics
  • Develop reports and updates for funders, elected officials, communities and organizations

Skills for Marketing and Publicity

  • Market trails effectively to build support for individual trails and trail systems
  • Use annual events and festivals as both education and marketing tools
  • Present trail plans, successes, and needs to community organizations and businesses

Skills for Interpretation and Education

  • Develop programs both on and off the trail to interpret natural, cultural, and historical resources
  • Preparing and delivering interpretive talks to the public and site visitors
  • Identifying needs and opportunities for interpretation and planning facilities
  • Writing, developing, publishing, and distributing written interpretive materials
  • Designing, building, and installing exhibits, displays, and markers
  • Develop and conduct stewardship education programs, including "Leave No Trace" and "Tread Lightly!"

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