Interpretation by Design

A Story on the Ground – Getting to Know Track Patterns

Understanding how animals move is a basic feature of tracking. When you start to see “the story” written upon the ground you see patterns, infer distances, visualize speed, and even what type of animal made the tracks. Recognizing the gait – the animal’s manner of walking– is key to knowing the story. Here is a simple PDF I developed called, “Getting to Know Track Patterns” to use in the field. I use when I’m interacting with kids (and adults too). It helps to have someone demonstrate these gaits on all fours to visualize the gait. Then try to walk that way for yourself.

America Needs You – Protect Laws That Help Wildlife Artwork

Science-based conservation is under attack! America’s environmental laws and natural treasures are under assault from the incoming administration in Washington. Laws like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act along with agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency could be gutted – taking America back to a time when pollution and bad water were commonplace. Hard fought protections are going backwards. I created this to help artwork to help stand up for the environment and protect future generations. The following artwork is available to friends of the park and related outdoor organizations to advance their local outreach and fundraising during these challenging times. The artist Mark Hougardy can help with products that will aid in these efforts. America and its beauty are worth fighting for! – Copyright Mark Hougardy.

Mark Hougardy’s Image Supports Outreach at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is an under-visited companion to other parks in California, however, the beauty does not disappoint. The volcano last erupted in 1915 and the rugged area offers a number of hot springs. Concession user fees are a primary source of funding for the park’s outreach and visitor services. Mark Hougardy’s image was used in park visitors centers from 2004- 2011 and an updated version is being planned.

Helping to Build Awareness of California State Parks with 10K Patches

Mark Hougardy, of GlyphGuy LLC, is proud to have supplied California State Park volunteers, Junior Rangers, and enthusiasts with over 10,000 high-quality patches that represent the second largest park system in the United States.

This year (2009) is challenging to the existence of many State Parks in California as the state wrestles with a looming budget deficit and possibly closing over 80% of the parks!

Maintaining the California State Park brand will be key to keeping the park system in the minds and eyes of visitors and voters. We hope that our patches will continue to represent the image and quality deserving of California State Parks.

Mark Hougardy’s Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Image

For three years from 2005-2008 Mark Hougardy’s image of Mount St. Helens was used by the Northwest Interpretive Association to help fund visitor outreach and education services at Mount St. Helens, Washington. Discover Your Northwest (formerly Northwest Interpretive Association) promotes the discovery of Northwest public lands, enriches the experience of visitors, and encourages stewardship of these special places today and for generations to come. Copyright Mark Hougardy.

Point Reyes National Seashores’ Tule Elk Design

For eight years the Point Reyes National Seashore Association produced park stores items from Mark Hougardy’s Tule Elk image. An updated version of the image is shown. For thousands of years, vast numbers of tule elk thrived in the grasslands of central and coastal California. In the mid-1800s, following the gold rush, uncontrolled market hunting and rapid agricultural development nearly drove them to extinction. They were gone from the Point Reyes area by the 1860s. In 1874, the last surviving tule elk (possibly as few as two individuals) were discovered and protected in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Tule elk were reintroduced to Point Reyes National Seashore in 1978. Since then, the elk have grown from 10 animals to nearly 500. There are two separate herds of tule elk at Point Reyes, one in a reserve and one free roaming herd. The reintroduction of this free-ranging herd is an important step in the ecological restoration in the park.

Año Nuevo State Reserve to Use Mark Hougardy’s Design to Grow Revenue for Visitor Services

Elephant Seals are large, blubbery creatures with elephantine-like noses. Adult males can grow up to 13 feet in length! The seals were once hunted for their oily fat which was used in oil lamps in the 1800’s. The demand for their blubber was so intense that their population plummeted and they were thought extinct. Fortunately, a small population survived on an island off the coast of Mexico and over time their population has returned to California. Año Nuevo State Reserve offers a special opportunity to see these creatures up close and in their natural habitat. The image will be used in the visitor center to help generate revenue for visitor engagement and interpretive programs. Copyright Mark Hougardy.

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park to Use Mark Hougardy’s Design

The Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park is a feast for the eyes. This landscape is a synergy of nature and an elegantly engineered human-made structure. The 115-foot light station was built in 1871 on this prominent section of the coastline to warn ships of dangerous waters. Today, visitors can enjoy the beautiful setting and whale watch. Mark Hougardy’s design will be used on park store items. Revenue from these sales will be used to help fund park visitor and outreach services. Copyright Mark Hougardy.

Mark Hougardy’s Artwork Selected for the Big Basin Redwoods State Park Centennial Poster

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California’s first and oldest state park. On June 8, 2002, they kicked off 100 days of celebration that include festivities, hikes, speakers, and interpretive events. Actor Clint Eastwood, who is a newly appointed state park commissioner, gave opening remarks.

Mark Hougardy created the poster representing the Centennial. The family seen in the image was modeled after his family; the child is his daughter, she is two years old. It is Mark’s hope that she will witness the park’s Bicentennial. She will be given a copy of the poster signed by celebrities and dignitaries who attended. The trees visualized in the image are just north of the main building and can be easily seen from the single-track road #236. The poster is very simple in design and the first such project of hopefully more to come. Patches, pins, and postcards will be created with a modified image and used to help fund park outreach and interpretive services.

Big Basin consists of more than 18,000 acres of forests, chaparral, and riparian habitats. It is also home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. Visitors can enjoy over 80 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails; 181 car camping sites; tent cabins; backpacking camps; and a visitor center.