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Interpretive Kiosk about prescribed fireBackground: In “green” communities, one of the primary issues is whether local residents, over the long term, will understand and take local action to conserve natural resources as originally intended by the developer. Decisions made by homeowners ultimately determine whether a community functions as a “green” community. For example, people determine which light bulbs to purchase, what types of vegetation to plant (e.g., exotics vs. natives), how much water to use, and whether to ameliorate their yards for wildlife.

Summary of Program: We have developed an environmental education program that will engage the homeowners in understanding and implementing natural resource conservation strategies. The program contains three elements:

  1. Interpretive Kiosks: Highly visible interpretive kiosks are placed in a trail system or public areas where people traffic is high. Each of the kiosks contains informative displays that discuss a particular topic, such as water, energy, and wildlife. Kiosks are dynamic and different informative panels can be easily changed.
  2. Web Site: A Web site is constructed (in association with the kiosks) that will give detailed environmental information and management strategies pertinent to a community.
  3. Brochure: A brochure is given to each new homeowner. This brochure will highlight local natural resource issues and invite homeowners to explore the kiosks in their neighborhood and visit the Web site.

Program Details: Currently, we are implementing this residential environmental education program in several “green” communities in Central Florida. For the kiosks, full-color exterior graphic panels are placed into each kiosk. To date, we have 28 full-color panels that cover seven themes: Water, Energy, Wildlife, Environmental Landscaping, Insects/Pollinators, Lakes, and Natural/Human History. The Web site generally follows the topic themes. The front page is designed as an entry port for a community and is designed to be compatible, in terms of look and feel, with the overall design and flavor of the community. From there, residents can link to various environmental topics and learn more about local resources, issues, and conservation strategies. The brochure functions as a springboard for people to explore the kiosks and Web site. This brochure generally has four panels (front and back) and covers the above topic themes.

Informative Panel about Sandhill CranesImplementation: Overall, a community can implement any combination of kiosks, panels, Web site, and brochure. For example, a community may decide to build two kiosks and use all 28 panels for these two kiosks, Web site, and brochure in combination but in certain instances, a community may want to use the kiosks alone.

Estimated Costs: Approximate materials and construction costs for the signs and panels:

  1. 24” x 36” all aluminum Graphic Display Units: $1,300.00 each
  2. 24” x 36” single wood pedestal & aluminum frame Graphic Display Units: $925.00 each
  3. Printing Costs for Full-Color Exterior Graphics (panels): $80.00 each
  4. Printing Costs for 1000 Full-Color Brochures: $800.00
  5. Production Costs: Production costs are variable depending on the topics, the community, and the amount of site-specific information that is needed for the graphic displays or the Web site.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Hostetler