This project complements the Scenic Byway Gateway Project, focusing on interpretive signage and informational kiosks at key locations along the byway. The existing, preliminary interpretive plan is a direct outcome of the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway Corridor Partnership Plan (CPP). Although the CPP identified a number of key stories associated with the Byway, more work is required to fully research and develop story lines and background data, collect images and other materials, frame presentations suitable for a variety of uses, including educational and promotional. Ultimately, the interpretive plan will provide a foundation for comprehensive, integrated brand messaging and establish the style palette for all Byway media. Content and graphic images developed during this phase will also lend themselves to Byway marketing communications vehicles.
This project will begin to create a detailed storyboard for the Byway with thematic elements meant to provide a seamless experience and to entice the traveler to see more of the Byway. The plan will weave together five of the possible six Scenic Byway intrinsic qualities, whether it is through the story of the Wabanaki Indians, Henry David Thoreau’s travels in the area, the importance of logging and papermaking, river-driving lore, and the formation of Baxter State Park.
Further development of the interpretative plan will identify specific items to assist visitors and improve the quality of their experience along the Byway such as detailed way-finding and amenities information. The traveler will be able to use the proposed website to research any part of the Byway including what there is to do, what to expect in the surrounding woodlands such as Baxter State Park, and links to places they can stay during their visit.
The first step in developing the Byway website involves interpretive planning, research, and development of the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway’s intrinsic qualities. The results of this first step will provide the thematic foundation for website development, interpretive panels, kiosk signage, stylized maps, and brochures. In this way, the respective media are not projects to be developed unto themselves, per se, but each is a component of the Byway’s comprehensive marketing communications strategy.
Planning will include a full assessment of current presentation outlets including local museums and historical societies, special interest trails, and community events with an eye toward further developing local capacity to engage visitors by these stories. The plan will establish design parameters and provide detailed information that can be placed on about 40 interpretive panels placed at specific locations throughout the 90-mile-long Byway. Placement of these panels will be very important to successfully pique travelers’ interest and entice them to see more of the Byway.
This component is anticipated to extend beyond 2015 due to the amount of work this will entail and additional time that will likely be needed to secure funding.