Promote understanding of sustainability in ways that positively influence user behavior by interpreting on-site features and processes.
Educational content and elements must relate to SITES prerequisites or the credits a project is pursuing.
Option 1: Educational and interpretive elements (3 points)
Provide a minimum of three educational or interpretive elements that draw attention to and explain sustainable features or processes of the site design, construction, operations, or maintenance. Demonstrate how the educational elements represent environmentally responsible behavior.
Option 2: Additional education (4 points)
Complete Option 1 and one of the following:
- Interactive educational or interpretive elements: Design a minimum of 30 percent of educational elements on site to be interactive.
- Programming: Provide programming that welcomes, encourages, and expands sustainability learning and understanding on the site.
- Partnerships: Create partnerships to extend sustainability education to local community groups.
- Follow these guidelines for educational or interpretive elements:
- Deliver one focused message.
- Make educational messages compelling.
- Use visual illustrations to convey the educational message.
- Design educational and interpretive elements with potential audiences in mind.
- Provide information in a variety of formats (e.g., maps, models, brochures, electronic kiosks, MP3-based or cell phone tours).
- Use natural elements provided to improve environmental conditions and include opportunity for user education and understanding. For example, rain gardens for stormwater management can be designed to provide a restorative setting, or a roof garden can serve as a break room.
- Identify those sustainability features that can be easily applied to off-site situations and design interpretative elements based on these applications.
- Tie programming to state standards and local school district goals and learning initiatives.
- Consider including interpretative descriptions in multiple languages to meet a broader audience based on visitor and population demographics.
- Incorporate interactive elements that encourage site users and visitors to integrate understanding of on-site examples of sustainability practices with experiences and behaviors that extend beyond the site. Signage is not considered interactive.
- Design activities and programs to welcome diverse participants.