NAI International Conference
April 20–25, 2014
Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center
Suncheon, South Korea
Bridging the Gap: Interpretation links people and nature in an urbanizing world.
On the shores of Suncheon Bay in South Korea lies a wetland area of international importance. It is home to approximately 158 species of birds, including many endangered and red listed species. The most famous resident is the hooded crane, a powerful symbol for Koreans.
But Korea has the same problem as the rest of the world, rapidly expanding urban areas. The City of Suncheon was growing relentlessly nearer to this environmental jewel. In order to stave off the rapacious appetite of developers, a buffer zone was created between the wetlands and the city. This buffer zone was a large urban park, designed in part by the World Wetland Trust. The park is a multi-use area, offering visitors a mix of decorative horticulture, historical recreations, conference facilities and featured glimpses into the wetlands beyond.
This park was home to the 2013 World Garden Exposition and in 2014 will host the NAI International Interpretation Conference. The park’s goal was to use a recreational setting to increase awareness about the importance of the natural areas. And nobody can do this better than interpreters!
“Through interpretation, understanding; through understanding, appreciation; through appreciation, protection.”
–Anonymous (as quoted by Freeman Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage)