The Design and Formative Evaluation of “The Wisconsin Conservation Success Stories” Documentary in The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Museum at the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center
Kahl, Elise A.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame (WCHF), a nonprofit organization, was established in 1984 by various Wisconsin organizations to honor Wisconsin’s leaders in resource management and to encourage the practice of a conservation ethic in today’s citizens. The WCHF in the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center includes two major exhibitions: the “Land of Wealth” museum and the formal Hall of Inductees. The “Land of Wealth” museum is made up of exhibits that tell the story of the land of Wisconsin. The museum itself is unfinished; the exhibit “Conservation Today and Tomorrow” from the original WCHF exhibit plan written in 1992 was never created. A documentary film for a new exhibit between the museum and the hall of fame will increase interest in Wisconsin’s conservation history and will help to inspire future generations. The successful conservation story of the Horicon Marsh is the framework for the documentary because it is symbolic of America’s shift in values regarding natural resources. Several focus groups viewed the documentary and provided feedback. The focus groups were organized to access professional and community member’s opinions of the video. The data was analyzed and interpreted to provide direction in redesigning the video. By creating a documentary for the WCHF, visitors will have the opportunity to “meet” Wisconsin’s conservation role models. The stories will come to life in the documentary, and will foster a personal connection between visitors and historic conservationists.