The Fellows have been hard at work all summer on the Professional Outreach Project at Awbury Arboretum. The project began by researching examples of inviting entryways and effective internal signage at similar institutions so that the same could be developed at Awbury Arboretum.
After this initial research phase, the Fellows started phase two, Inviting Entryways. In this phase the main goal was to attract visitors to the Arboretum by making each entryway consistent and inviting. The Fellows created a general template with which they designed new signs to be placed at the various entrances to the Arboretum. They also developed a plant list and plant installation garden design to add color and seasonal interest to four of the entrances to the Arboretum.
The second POP Advisory Committee (POPAC) produced positive feedback regarding the proposed signs and planting designs. The entire POPAC includes Chris Van de Velde, General Manager, and Beth Miner, Director of Outreach, both of Awbury Arboretum, as well as Dottie Mile, Interpretation Manager at Longwood Gardens, and Robert Lyons, Professor and Director of the Longwood Graduate Program.
Now the Fellows are using the next two weeks to finish their work in Phase Three, Internal Signage. They are currently addressing way-finding and interpretation needs inside the borders of the Arboretum and are developing way-finding signs to place in various locations around the Arboretum. New interpretive signs are being designed for several areas, which correspond to places currently highlighted on the Awbury map. This interpretive material will explain basic information about selected gardens and habitats to aid in informal education at the Arboretum.
The Fellows will spend the final two weeks in September compiling a summary document to share with Awbury’s staff. Going forward, the Fellows plan to produce the signs they have designed and to install the signs and selected plants.