National Park Service
US Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Interpretive Development Program

Thoughts from the IDP Team

30 Jul 2015 7:59 pm

“This made me think about things I’ve never thought about before,” Makayla Givens a 15-year-old visitor shared with me right after this program. She continued, “it made me think of religion, politics, parenting, and my community.”   It has been three years since I visited Little Rock, Arkansas in the summer. Summers in Arkansas remind me of both hot and cold; the very hot days that are certain and the cold splash of pool water. As I planned for a two week vacation to my hometown, I could not resist reaching out to my former park Little Rock Central High School NHS, to ask if they were interested in a one day project of offering an interpretive program around the theme of independence using the...
31 Mar 2015 5:30 pm

A few months ago I was asked to join the Selma to Montgomery NHT for the park's 50th Anniversary. My role would be to interpret this site's meanings using civic engagement through facilitated dialogue. I was honored to participate. SEMO received unbelievable support and was given an opportunity to immerse the young and old in a Walking Classroom. The goal was to follow the same foot steps as the foot soldiers who embarked in a journey in 1965 that started in Selma and ended by walking 54 miles to Montgomery, AL. In addition, participants were challenged to think about their lives and the greater community regarding voting rights and other civil rights. A call to action was announced and hundreds answered, many came with their...
08 Jan 2015 3:19 pm

Every January 1 we say and feel this -- where did the time go?? How is it possible that the past year could just seem to evaporate in a whirlwind of busy-ness and multi-tasking? I definitely have some memorable and meaningful experiences that stand out in my mind and heart from 2014 -- but most of the days and hours? I'm not sure... I think/hope I accomplished something purposeful and useful? In December I reached the big 30 year marker for my NPS career -- those of you who are "getting up there" along with me, probably have a similar experience, finding that your thoughts more often turn to reflections on "where did the time go."  One thing I know for sure, a theme has...
28 Aug 2014 5:00 pm

My family wants to see themselves in parks. They are my inspiration. I’ve been watching the new series Flipping the Block. I just love home improvement shows. On this show there are four teams of two. One team is made up of sisters. They're two African American women from Louisiana. When the network was promoting the show I immediately noticed the team. As an African American I quickly notice this sort of thing. So this new show had two variables working in its favor: DIY/home improvement and these black women who encouraged me to add the date the show would air to my calendar and tune in. I was recently in training and helping to facilitate a discussion around “non-visitors.” Who are your non-visitors...