Sources for More Information

Bulletin #33: How To Interpret Trees

Two Essential Books

There is an abundance of books and literature available to provide details on every aspect of interpretation. Here are two of the best to start with if you want to explore this topic in more detail:

  • Interpreting Our Heritage by Freeman Tilden.

    This classic is an interpreter’s bible. Playwright and author Freeman Tilden was called upon by the National Park Service to provide a conceptual framework for the practice that for a long time had been called �nature guiding.’ Tilden studied the practices and provided six principles and good advice that form a solid foundation for the practice we now call interpretation.

  • Environmental Interpretation by Sam H. Ham.

    Published in both English and Spanish editions, this 456-page book is a comprehensive “how-to” for interpreters. It is especially appealing because of its emphasis on techniques “for people with big ideas and small budgets.”

Please remember: All book purchases made through our arborday.org link to Amazon.com, returns a portion of the sale price to the Arbor Day Foundation to support its educational programs in tree planting and environmental stewardship. Simply go to the Arbor Day Online Books section of this site.

Interpreter’s Handbook Series

Three helpful books are available individually or as a set from Schmeeckle Reserve at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point. These can be ordered at Schmeeckle Reserve. The titles are:

  • Interpretive Centers: The History, Design, & Development of Nature & Visitor Centers
  • The Interpreter's Guidebook: Techniques for Programs & Presentations
  • Signs, Trails, and Wayside Exhibits: Connecting People and Places

The Professional Organization

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the profession of heritage interpretation. It has a membership of about 5,000 in the United States, Canada, and over 30 other nations. The stated mission of this organization is to inspire leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession. You can visit NAI’s Web site.

More Information

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