From February 23-27, 2009, 100 interpreters from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Ontario descended upon the Haliburton Highlands for a workshop hosted by Ontario Parks Natural Heritage Education (NHE) staff. Held at the Lion’s Camp Dorset, this was the first National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Regional Interpreter’s Workshop for NAI’s 10 North American regions to be held outside of the United States.
With a theme of Interpretation in a Changing Climate, the workshop offered tips and techniques for effective heritage interpretation and showcased a central Ontario winter experience. With toques, skis, snowshoes and even dogsleds in tow, participants got a taste of Ontario’s rich natural and cultural heritage from wolves and gray jays to First Nations and logging heritage through field trips to several interpretive sites, including Arrowhead, Killbear, Petroglyphs and Algonquin Provincial Parks.
Highlights such as the successful wolf howl at the Algonquin Visitor Centre left many of the predominantly American participants wanting more. Many have already planned follow-up trips to these and other interpretive gems in the province. Due to the success of this workshop, the NAI hopes to host future workshops in Ontario.
NAI Executive Director, Tim Merriman, who flew up from Colorado, said â€œYou held a great meeting in Dorset. I enjoyed every minute of it and think you have really done something important for NAI with this one. Congratulations to all of you and especially to the Ontario folks who worked so hard on it.â€
With over 5,000 members worldwide, the NAI’s mission is to inspire excellence and leadership in advancing the field of natural and cultural heritage interpretation.
More information is available at www.interpnet.com