National Park Week in the USA has just finished, organised (of course) by the National Park Service and supported by the National Park Foundation. This year, there have been more virtual events unsurprisingly than ever before, along with daily themes around which social media content was focused such as Transformation Tuesday, Earth Day, and Junior Ranger Day. Twitter even rolled out a Covid-friendly Park Ranger emoji complete with mask to accompany the related hashtags for the week #findyourpark
The Presidential Proclamation from the White House noted the healing power of connection with nature, and the opportunities for the NPS as an organisation to engage ever more equitably with the communities it serves.
This year’s Park Week also saw the anticipated launch of the NPS app, which brings together a range of handy visitor information about parks and sites in the National Park System, along with maps and links to interpretation materials. The app takes the design principles of the Unigrid further into the digital realm (Those who recognise our guidebook and signage obsessions on this blog will realise I’ll inevitably be coming back anon on this….).
The app’s first iteration is good and, even though somewhat afar sitting in the UK, I have already lost a number of hours playing with it – and am now mentally planning future trips back to the States to try it out on location.
Journal summary: The Journal provides a forum for critical discussion of public policy debates relating to the fields of tourism, leisure and events. This encompasses the economic, social, cultural, political and environmental dimensions of official intervention. In addition to high quality theoretical and empirical papers, the journal publishes contributions examining the value of contrasting methodologies, or advocacy of novel methods. In order to foster debate and extend the scope of discussion, it publishes shorter carefully argued position statements on specific, topical interventions in the Contemporary Policy Debates section. In addition, the journal’s novel Dialogues section involves ‘point/counter-point’ debates between contributors on a range of policy-related or policy research-related topics. These may interrogate key concepts from different cultural, theoretical or spatial perspectives, or discuss potential responses to a range of practical challenges involved in undertaking policy-related research in the fields of tourism, leisure and events.
There are preparations underway at Sutton Hoo for the ‘Summer Solstice’ weekend. One of the displays includes (reconstructed) material from Switzerland that was contemporary with the Sutton Hoo burial.
It is a particular pleasure to see heritage taking centre stage in Ipswich in the coming month. It is supported by the town’s business improvement district (BID), All About Ipswich, and a passionate supporter of the town’s heritage (and a great media ally), Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, as well as a collaboration of the town’s borough council, UCS and the Museums Service. It is a great extension of the national Heritage Open Days, and the work undertaken locally by the Ipswich Society, which we are corporate members of. UCS has its own lectures slot in the fortnight, with talks by Professor David Gill and Dr Geraint Coles, which we’ll blog about separately. What is particularly important is the role of the BID in this – as the protection and celebration of the historic environment is seen as a business issue for the town, beyond simple tourism promotion.
A very smart brochure has been produced, available online – showcasing the places and activities around the town which is showing exciting developments across its heritage management arena. We like to think that UCS is playing a key role, and with a small dedicated team has achieved a huge amount in developing and embedding heritage as a subject at the University over the past couple of years.