Outcomes of Interpretation in Alberta's Provincial Parks


A presentation on a stage in the woods with 2 actors dressed up in costumes.

Glen Hvenegaard, environmental science professor, and Elizabeth Halpenny, professor of kinesiology, sport and recreation at the University of Alberta are conducting a five-year study on Interpretation in Alberta's Provincial Parks.

Interpretation is an important tool used by Alberta Parks to fulfill its mandate to "inspire people to discover, value, protect, and enjoy the natural world." The aim of this research project is to determine the short and long-term outcomes of interpretive programs, the factors influencing those outcomes, and the consistency of outcomes with staff perceptions of provincial goals, management plans, policies, and strategies.

Objectives of the study

  • To compare the goals of interpretation among policy documents, planners, managers, and front-line staff
  • To document the short and long-term outcomes as identified by practitioners and visitors
  • To investigate the factors influencing desired interpretive outcomes
  • To examine the consistency among interpretive goals and outcomes
  • To disseminate results to academic, government, practitioner, and public audiences

Partners and Funding

  • We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for funding our research
  • We also greatly value the partnership and support we have received from Alberta Parks