How to Promote Sustainability with Interpretive Signage

Written by Watershed Staff

Interpretive signs can be a tool for positive change. Interpretation teaches users the value of their natural resources, and helps them feel invested in the environment where they live. At The Watershed Company, we design interpretive signs that inspire users to help the environment. Encouraging users to help protect natural resources at home is simple: make change appealing and easy!

What are some ways to promote sustainability?

1. Spell Out Personal and Community Benefits

A sign for Scott County in Minnesota (above) spells out the direct benefits to homeowners who choose to install native plants along their shorelines instead of grass, showing that it’s a win-win for both homeowners and the environment.

This interpretive sign explains four key watershed benefits from stormwater improvements at a golf club in a residential neighborhood of Santa Barbara, CA. A map of the watershed, as well as the sub-basin, helps users pinpoint their influence on the greater watershed.


2. Use Statistics to Catch Users’ Attention

Interpretive Sign about street and transportation stormwater impacts, by The Watershed Company.

Signs along the Sammamish River Trail in Bothell, Washington, call walkers’ attention to ecological features, local history, and environmental impacts. An array of startling statistics, illustrated with simple graphics, jump out at readers.


3. Make Sustainable Decisions Easy

Interpretive signs about drought tolerant plants designed for Premera by The Watershed Company.

Offer Sustainable Alternatives

This interpretive sign, at Premera Blue Cross’ Mountlake Terrace campus in Washington encourages users to replace thirsty plants in their garden with drought-tolerant plants. A photo montage and tables listing plant attributes help users pick beautiful plants that will work in their garden at home. 

Interpretive sign about sustainable gardening practices and soils, by The Watershed Company.

Teach Better Methods with Simple Steps

A water conservation demonstration garden in Redmond, Washington, uses interpretive signs to explain sustainable gardening practices. It breaks down the best practices for soil amendment into four key steps.

Interpretive sign about stormwater ditches and water quality for Carolina Clear by The Watershed Company.

List Concrete Actions

The Carolina Clear initiative in South Carolina aims to change user attitudes towards stormwater features, like stormwater ditches, using a set of interpretive signs distributed throughout the state. This interpretive sign offers a clear list of actions that users should and shouldn’t take to protect their waterway’s health. 


Trying to promote sustainability at your site?

Give us a call to brainstorm some ideas! We enjoy working with public and private agencies to develop designs that engage and educate people about their natural systems.