Connecting More People with Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park was awarded an Impact Grant allowing the park to purchase and install needed roadside signage for two areas of the park: Fossil Bone Picnic Area and Lost Mine Trail.
Big Bend National Park is created a new prototype sign standard for marking trailheads. This new trailhead signage design was replicated throughout the park. This initial signage setup was saved for future work, greatly lowering the setup costs down the road.
The park began by replacing the Lost Mine trailhead signage on both sides of the highway. These signs had to comply with highway standards. Money available beyond this first need was be allocated to replace the "exhibit ahead" roadrunner signs. These signs alert potential visitors to stop and view the wayside road sign.
The new signs conveyed the subject matter of the wayside exhibit, so that visitors are able to determine their interest in that stopping point by reading the sign. It helps visitors decide why and when to stop, allowing them to plan their time most effectively.
This signage project is the cornerstone of the educational experience for visitors in the park. By providing enhanced description on the signs, visitors are able to pick and choose what they want to discover of the park's resources. For example, a visitor might want to visit all the park's geology exhibits. This enhanced signage would allow them to bypass other topics that might not be of interest, so they can proceed to those that have topics they are exploring. Big Bend National Park is over 800,000 isolated acres, and park speed limits are 45 miles per hour. It can take many hours to get around the park, and helping visitors hone their experiences allows them to maximize their time in this vast treasure.