John Veverka & Associates
General Interpretive Plan Outline
Here's a copy of my basic interpretive plan document content outline. This outline is often modified based on the profect scope of work. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I. Introduction and Scope of the Plan.
A. What was the scope of work the plan was to cover?
II. Main Interpretive theme and Sub-
A. Main Interpretive theme and rational.
B. Main Sub-
C. Interpretive story-
III. Total interpretive program/services objectives (Learn, Feel, Do).
(This is for the total interpretive program/services effort -
A. Learning Objectives
B. Behavioral Objectives
C. Emotional Objectives
IV. Visitor Analysis.
(This is usually based on existing visitor data as doing new visitor surveys is both time consuming and expensive). Sections of this part of the plan can include:
A. Visitation numbers and trends over the past 3-
B. Basic market profile -
C. Visitor experience desires or focus (why are they visiting this site?).
D. Seasonal visitation trends or issues.
E. School group and curriculum based interpretive planning needs and issues.
F. Visitor Management Issues (relate to behavioral objectives).
V. Individual Site Interpretive Inventory and Story Development Forms.
A. Site resource location/inventory map. This map would show the locations of each interpretive site, feature, facility, etc. that an interpretive planning form set would be completed for (existing or proposed).
B. Interpretive Site Index list. This is a list of all of the interpretive sites inventoried and included in the interpretive planning form sets that follow.
C. Interpretive Planning form sets for each interpretive site inventoried including orientation sites, facilities, trails, demonstration areas, historic sites, natural resource areas, etc.(existing or proposed).
For each planning form set include:
a. Site Inventory Form.
1. Site Index Number (keyed to map).
2. Site Name
3. Site Location (reference site index map, etc.)
4. Site Description (refer to photos if available).
5. Interpretive Significance (why are we interpreting this site?).
b. Story Development Form Set:
1. Main Interpretive Theme/Topic for each individual site.
2. Site Objectives. These are physical development objectives such
as building a stair way, add a viewing deck, etc.
3. Interpretive program/services objectives. These are the specific
objectives (learn, feel or do) that interpretive programs, services
or media are to accomplish at this specific site.
4. Recommended Interpretive Media for this location. This is a list of
the interpretive media that could best be used to accomplish the
stated objectives (i.e. self-
demonstration, guided walk, exhibit in a visitor center, etc.).
5. Any budget issues or estimates. This helps make each individual
interpretive planning form set a "mini" work plan for each
individual site or feature that is part of the interpretive plan.
VI. Five year implementation and operations strategy/matrix.
This includes: Site Index Number -
This allows us to plan priorities and costs for actually implementing the total interpretive plan 5 years down the road.
VII. Evaluation recommendations. How will you know if the interpretive media you are going to purchase actually works (accomplishes its objectives), such as pre-
VIII. Appendices as needed.
Note: this is the interpretive planning model framework that I use in my training courses, for actually doing interpretive planning and illustrated in the text book Interpretive Master Planning. This content outline can be modified as needed for specific scopes of work, but I feel is a minimum that any interpretive planning document should contain.
A different set of planning forms are used for visitor center/museum exhibit planning.