The future site of Beyer Community Park in San Ysidro.

Beyer Park Interpretive Signs Focus on Local Environmental Education

San Diego Coastkeeper designed five bilingual interpretive signs for the future Beyer Community Park in San Ysidro, California. The signs will help connect future park visitors to the area’s local watershed, wildlife habitats, ecosystems, and indigenous history.

*This blog features interactive elements and is best viewed on a computer screen.

Use the navigation below to jump to a section.

Interpretive Signs for Beyer Community Park

Hover over the images below for an in-depth look at each thematic sign.

Our Shared Watershed - Beyer Park interpretive sign

Our Shared Watershed

In our first sign we introduce the concept of a watershed as an ecological neighborhood and describe how water moves across the land. This sign features an illustration of wetland habitat, a map of the Tijuana River Watershed, and describes threats to healthy waterways and green infrastructure solutions.
View the Sign
Climate Resilience Through Conservation

Climate Resilience Through Conservation

The second sign in the series, highlights the connection between water and energy use. It features a map and illustration of the aqueduct transportation network that brings water to San Diego and highlights how water and energy conservation can help lessen the effects of climate change.
View the Sign
Green Spaces Protect Communities - Beyer Community Park interpretive signs

Green Spaces Protect Communities

Our third sign illustrates how trees and green spaces can protect the health of our communities by improving air quality. It describes how the trees in Beyer Park will collectively sequester carbon dioxide, remove air particulate matter, intercept rainfall, and capture runoff.
View the Sign
Our Wildlife Neighbors - Beyer Community Park interpretive signs

Our Wildlife Neighbors

Our Wildlife Neighbors features some of the local wildlife species in Beyer Park and how parks can help protect wildlife habitats. Detailed illustrations include a cactus wren, red-tailed hawk, cottontail, kangaroo rat, California gnatcatcher, rattlesnake, and coyote against a chaparral backdrop.
View the Sign
San Diego’s First People - Beyer Community Park interpretive signs

San Diego’s First People

The fifth sign, San Diego’s First People, incorporates Kumeyaay land stewardship practices and the history of the U.S.-Mexico border. Visitors can learn about native plants found in Beyer Park and their spiritual and medicinal uses.
View the Sign

Below we discuss developing the signs from concept to creation. Please continue reading for more information about our creative process.

The Interpretive Process Model

The Beyer Park signs follow the National Park Services’ Interpretive Process Model. This model helps develop accessible content and information so that all different kinds of people build their unique connections to Beyer Park.

Theme Statement

Using this model, we outlined an overarching theme statement (below) for the series and subsequent themes for each sign.

Beyer Park is a symbol of resilience and adaptation in the commmunity

Individual Sign Themes

  1. Our Shared Watershed: We all live in a watershed.
  2. Climate Resilience Through Conservation: We can affect our environment.
  3. Green Spaces Protect Our Communities: We can work together to protect and restore our communities.
  4. Our Wildlife Neighbors: We can learn from the land around us.
  5. San Diego’s First People: We can learn from the people before us.

The Creative Process

A mood board helps define and communicate our vision and set the tone and direction for the interpretive signs project.
We created a mood board as an initial point of reference and inspiration for the interpretive signs.

Beyer Park Research and Content Development

As with any large and multifaceted communications project, the most crucial phase is research and content development. During this time, we worked to understand the area’s history and project development and identify any challenges that could impact the design and creative process. 

Typically, creative teams receive the final approved text information and concepts before developing any designs. This ensures that any design constraints, such as space and size, are identified before creating the layout and other project elements. It also prevents the back-and-forth between editorial and creative teams, for example, if any text or concepts are removed, saving a project time and money.

Local Environmental Education Mood Board

Before beginning any actual design work, we created mood boards to help define and communicate our vision and set the tone and direction for the project. We incorporated imagery and concepts from our previous projects, past community outreach presentations, and other sources of inspiration – like signs found while hiking or vacationing.

Interpretive Sign Layouts and Sketches

Next, we designed mockups of different sign layouts. Our designer used a grid system to balance the bilingual text and imagery and created digital sketches of the illustrations to give the designs more context and a sense of depth and scale. During this phase, she also developed a sample color palette, hand-drawn maps, icons, and more.

Designing the Beyer Park Interpretive Signs

We created several drafts throughout the rest of the design process while soliciting feedback and incorporating changes along the way. We even printed the signs to scale and tested them with friends and family.

Ultimately, after months of work, we created final versions of the signs and delivered the digital files to our partners to be produced and installed at the future Beyer Community Park.

San Diego Coastkeeper toured the future site of Beyer Community Park with Casa Familiar.
We toured the future site of Beyer Community Park in San Ysidro with Casa Familiar.

About the Project

We designed five culturally relevant, bilingual, interpretive, and community-focused educational signs in collaboration with Casa Familiar and City of San Diego Parks and Recreation. Communications and Outreach Director Ally Senturk led the project’s creative development. Local San Diego artist Kait Kolsky designed and illustrated the signs. Campaigns Manager Lucero Sanchez helped with translating the content into Spanish, and Education Manager Delanie Medina and Director of Science Rachele Lopez provided subject matter expertise and guidance.

Thank you to all of our incredible partners and collaborators throughout this process! Together, we developed long-lasting resources that will continue teaching San Diegans for years to come.