Inspiring the outdoor experience: does the path through a nature center lead out the door?

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Abstract

This study investigates the visitor experience at a Swedish nature center within aUNESCO biosphere reserve. The question of whether this interpretive facility succeedsin motivating the visitor to get outdoors for a direct experience of nature is explored. Useof the environmental connectedness perspective and concerns about diminished natureexperience support the importance of this study. A number of qualitative methodologiesare used to investigate the research questions, including thought listing, phenomenology,and field observation. Results indicate that this particular nature center generallysucceeded in the goal of inspiring visitors for a direct nature experience. The success inmotivating visitors appears to be a result of a number of key variables, including placebasedexhibitry, access, and personal visitor factors. Given the setting for this study, weconclude that interpretive nature centers have the potential to play an important role inthe re-imagination of urban environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-85
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpretation Research
Volume20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Other Natural Sciences (107)

Keywords

  • Kristianstad Vattenrike
  • access
  • biodiversity
  • environmental connectedness perspective

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