We hope your spring season is off to a great start! Click the link for the latest updates: http://conta.cc/2FSFKOJ
Photo: "Make a wish." -Wishbone bush flowers in bloom at Lake Perris SRA.
We wish you a Happy New Year! For information on upcoming events and the latest news, check out this link to the 2017 Winter Newsletter: http://conta.cc/2oLISnc
We are looking for presenters who use interpretation in their work and want to share their stories, successes, and challenges at our Regional Workshop. Apply by Mon. Jan. 8, 2018 here. The Regional Workshop will be hosted April 5-8th, 2018 at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation at the Phoenix Zoo.
Photo: Sonoran Desert National Monument night sky via Bureau of Land Management
Happy Fall! Here's the latest newsletter complete with information about job postings, upcoming trainings, and scholarships for the November conference in Spokane. Click here to view the newsletter: http://www.interpnet.com/NAI/docs/WildWest-Fall17.pdf
Our Summer Newsletter is here! To check it out, click on this link: http://conta.cc/2sQc5dM
NAI's Wild West Region is offering our annual National Conference scholarship to professionals and students who have shown exemplary work in the area of interpretation. The Scholarship Program recipient will receive one full registration for the National Conference this year, November 14-18 in Spokane, Washington.
Applicant must be a Wild West Region member and the scholarship will be based on a written essay demonstrating success and creativity in interpretive work experience, programs and/or academic projects.
Applications are due by July 17, 2017.
Please see Scholarship Application Form for additional information.
Registration is now open for the Wild West Regional Workshop!
Sign up here
Spend a weekend "Igniting the Seeds of Interpretation" while networking, learning and enjoying the little known but stunning canyons of South Orange County.
When: March 18th and 19th (+17th for those camping on site)
Where :O'Neill Regional Park in Trabuco Canyon, CA. Camping is available in two group sites for Friday and Saturday night with late check out in Sunday (after tour).
Saturday: Keynote, and concurrent sessions (breakfast and lunch included) at the O'Neill Regional Park Conference Room and Amphitheater
Sunday: Interpretation in the Canyon Tour of three local sites: (lunch included)
Irvine Ranch Natural Landmark- Black Star Canyon
Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic Home and Gardens
Cal State Fullerton's Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
Optional "Green" Beer Interpretasting Scholarship Fundraiser at Rancho Mission Viejo Reserve on Friday, March 17th- more details to come...
Cost: Full weekend $95 for members/ $150 for non-members
Full weekend plus Fri/Sat camping $110 for members $165 non members
Saturday only: $65 for members/ $95 for non-members
Registration will open in early February
Call for Presentations
We are now accepting proposals for our concurrent sessions which will take place on Saturday, March 18th.
The 2017 Wild West Workshop is scheduled for
Location to be determined
Check back for details!
Download the program guide.
The Wild West Regional Workshop is coming up August 19-21, 2016! This year we will be in San Diego, CA, at the Point Loma Nazarene University Liberty Station Conference Center. This will be a fun and exciting time to gather together with members of our region and find out what is happening in the field of interpretation!
We have fun-filled field trips planned, concurrent workshop sessions and social networking opportunities for you to enjoy!
Regional Conference Details
This year's Wild West Regional Workshop is officially open for registration!
Click here to view details and registration.
Enjoy a wide variety of session topics such as: utilizing interpretive props, interpreting to little naturalists, how we process information, and interpreting sensitive topics.
Deadline: July 15, 2016
Click here to download application information.
Sea Turtle Kayak:
Kayak with Ocean Connectors through South San Diego Bay and the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in search of the endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtle. Learn about this small population of sea turtles consisting of about 60 individuals that migrate to islands off Mexico to nest. Enjoy lunch at the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge with representatives from the USFWS and the Living Coast Discovery Center.
San Diego River's Hidden Heritage Tour:
Explore San Diego's Hidden Heritage on a tour along the San Diego River with stops to key historic sites that have shaped the city we see today. Explore how the river is used today as well as in the past.
Tourism Blues (and Brews)
Learn about how San Diego is using the craft beer scene as a vehicle for tourism and how it can be applied to your site. We will discuss the basics of beer education, programming and how to create a program involving local craft beer. This trip will also be a craft beer pub crawl along Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.
Liberty Station Brews & Bites (Friday)
In teams, explore the diversity of Brews & Bites within Liberty Station. A self guided scavenger hunt will guide you through some of San Diego's finest microbreweries and eateries.
Cabrillo National Monument (Saturday)
Enjoy one of San Diego's most scenic spots to enjoy the sunset over the Pacific. While onsite, enjoy tide pools, the lighthouse, WWII reenactment, and other special interpretive programs. We will have the privilege of enjoying the park after dark.
By Deborah Bergin
The Spring Mountain Visitor Gateway, recently open to the public, encompasses 90 acres of Forest Service land and serves as both a gateway to and an orientation for the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA), while also functioning as a destination for families in the Las Vegas community.
The project represents the culmination of five years of work coordinated by the Las Vegas-based architecture firm LGA. Built on a defunct golf course that had badly damaged the site, the Spring Mountain Visitor Gateway acts as an urban interface to introduce guests to the unique ecosystems of Mt. Charleston and the SMNRA.
The project includes a Visitor Center, Education Building, trails for varied skill levels, picnic shelters and two amphitheaters. The Visitor Center and Education Building are both designed to deliver an inside-outside experience, creating a natural, holistic feel that honors the landscape.
The Visitor Center includes an information area, an interpretive gallery and a retail store. The gallery was designed for theatrical effect with suspended blue banners and decorative lights representing the sky. A central audio experience of nature sounds is suspended above a bench crafted from a 3,000 year old Bristlecone Pine tree ring. The exhibits describe the 7 ecological zones that occur in the SMNRA and their associated flora and fauna. There is cultural interpretation of the history of human engagement in the mountains including recognizing Mt. Charleston as the birthplace of the Paiute People. The exhibits also describe the sustainable design process and features in the building and site elements.
The interior building finishes include redwood from salvaged picnic tables, used for wall finishes and in the retail and information desk casework. The building has a large wood-burning fireplace to serve as functional heating and as a central gathering feature. An art installation called "Polage" occurs at a strip of south-facing windows that interpret the plants and animals of the mountain. The art only reveals itself when viewed through polarized viewers or sunglasses. The exhibit kiosks use weathered steel to match the building exterior panels, high definition images of flora embedded into 10' high glass blades, carved animal sculptures and interactive displays.
The Gateway honors the Paiute people, who hold Mt. Charleston as their ancestral birthplace. The Seven Stones Plaza was designed to represent the seven different nations, and the creation story is told through subtly etched images that surround the large center stone.
This site is also home to the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial. The memorial honors those who served our county, especially those who served in secret, and those whose service required the ultimate sacrifice during the Cold War.
"Prior to this project, there had never been an orientation to Mt. Charleston or SMNRA," Deborah Bergin, LGA's project manager for the Spring Mountain Visitor Gateway said. This led to overuse of the areas that were more easily accessible, such as Cathedral Rock, without an understanding of the impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
"By repurposing an already heavily disrupted area for the Spring Mountain Visitor Gateway, we'll actually alleviate overuse in other areas," explained Craig Galati, whose architectural firm has built a reputation as pioneers of eco-smart designs and green building methods. "Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which is on the other side of the same mountain range, had to start charging admission in an effort to slow down visitation, as the heavy volume was having a negative impact. For Mt. Charleston, there's no entry charge to go on the property, and the Visitor Center will help protect Spring Mountain by properly directing and educating visitors."
"We like to do transformational work," Bergin said. "We're teaching people from Las Vegas to love the mountain. My hope is that in 5-10 years they will become stewards and take ownership. If that happens, we will have accomplished our goals."
NAI Region 8
Serving Arizona, Southern California, and Clark County, Nevada