Learn about Nature in the Port ($10,000)

Greene-Rose Heritage Park or nearby

Artistic signs would educate children and adults about nature in the city. The signs would contain information about local wildlife and the ecosystems and would include a map of habitats around Cambridge.

People living in cities need more informal, frequent access to nature. The signs, which will have illustrations of familiar flora and fauna in Cambridge, will help people who live in the most densely populated parts of Cambridge connect with nature in the city and the surrounding areas of Cambridge. This project would help increase accessibility to information about wildlife in Cambridge for those residents who have less access to natural areas. A map would also point out accessible natural areas and habitats (e.g., Fresh Pond, Magazine Beach) within Cambridge.There are many plants and animals living in within the city, and the signs would help people slow down and take notice of nearby nature.

In addition to raising awareness of nature in Cambridge, the signs will help spark conversations. Given the increased distractions such as smartphones and other screens facing children and adults today, artistic elements in parks would help increase conversations between parents and their children. The signs and illustrations would use symbols and the principles of universal design so that people who do not speak English could still interact with them. They would be simple, with the purpose of engaging people, children especially, in their surrounding environment. Any text included will ask a question (4th grade reading level), another way to help people reflect on their environment. Information would be at eye-level for children and interactive elements could be included.

The design of the signs would need to fit with the feel and location of Greene-Rose Heritage Park (or another nearby park), but they would also be uniquely made by a local artist. The signs would be made from durable materials such as stone, metal, or hardwood.

Examples of interactive signage:
(source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/Plitvice-Valleys/5357879)

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Example from Cambridgeb.jpg

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Showing 3 reactions

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  • commented 2016-11-23 08:22:14 -0500
    This is a really nice idea to help give us – and especially our children – expanded insight into our urban ecosystem and a deeper sense of place. Like turning our everyday surroundings into a giant outdoor interpretive center.
  • published this page in Proposals (PB3) 2016-11-21 12:55:21 -0500
  • published this page in Proposals (PB3) 2016-11-21 12:08:36 -0500

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