Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Many Hats of Interpretation

        Week five is being spent with interpretation all over the island in the various visitor centers and ferry terminals. The week was full of excitement but it was also full of downtime which is when book about the island were read along with books about local plants and animals. The island has a very unique aspect involving the rule of no vehicles on the island. If you want to come visit the park you either have to walk, drive your boat, or catch a ferry over. This causes there to be an expected rise in visitors in the visitor centers around the times that the ferry arrive. This was in every location i worked even in the ferry terminal, when the ferry arrives you have about a half hour when the visitor center is packed full of people but then the rest of the time it is either empty or has a couple people in it.
The Ferry Ride Over to Watch Hill
          The first two days was spent in Watch Hill Visitor Center, this area has a large salt marsh along with beach access. Near the Visitor center there is a gift shop, snack bar, and a restaurant. The marina has over 100 boat slips in the marina so you would think that the visitor center would always be full. Sadly when I was there the numbers were low, but instead of sit there and be bored other interns wanted to go canoeing and work on the program they would have to eventually give. I thought they would appreciate a guinea pig on the first trip so that they could run the material by and see if it is interesting. We also began reading about the local birds so that when visitors asked what was flying around we could answer them.
Sign After Exiting the Ferry
           The next couple days were spent at Sailors Haven Visitor Center, the surrounding area has the Sunken Forest along with the beach. It also has a gift shop and concessions stand along with a 40 slip marina. When I was there is rained which hurt the amount of visitors which wanted to enjoy the island. Similar to what happened in Watch Hill there were book for the birds, plants, and marine life which were read. There were more interactions with visitors there which allowed me to test my own knowledge of the island after my five weeks here.
Sailors Haven Visitor Center
           The final day was spent at the Watch Hill Ferry Terminal on the mainland which allowed me to interact with a little over 430 visitors. This was the ultimate test of my knowledge of the area and where the best places to visit were. There was also a Boy Scout group which were working on weeding the surrounding flower beds and planting native milkweed for the local pollinator garden. This was by far the most exciting day with only small windows which allowed you to catch you breath before the next wave of visitors arrived. There were a record amount of people who used the ferry terminal and this was mostly due to this being the fourth of July weekend.
          This marks the Halfway point in the internship, and with the way my internship worked i am with Law Enforcement again for week six


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