Prince Edward Island National Park, Robinsons Island

Prince Edward Island National Park, Robinsons Island

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Treasured for its recreational value for over 75 years

Once a thriving campground on PEI’s north shore, Robinsons Island was repurposed as a day-use nature park redeveloped to better connect with families. The primary feature of the Robinsons Island Trail System is a hiking and biking trail that provides 12 technical riding experiences, intended teach novice riders on riding mountain bike features. In addition, we were asked to develop a handful of interpretive stations at rest stops along the trail.

With its rich cultural and natural history, there are numerous exciting and informative stories to tell at Robinsons Island, particularly since much of the past is not visible. From a 10,000+ year old indigenous history, to a more recent early French, Acadian, and British history of settlement and land use, the cultural resources in the park tell a long and fascinating story of people of the area.  

Designed to engage visitors interested in exploring Robinsons Island—yet discouraged to leave the trail—the new interpretive installations are located at observation points along the trail and take advantage of the spectacular coastal views. Robinsons Island is host to many stories: we bring a few to light over thirteen interactive interpretive elements. The main themes address the Mi'kmaw history of the place, its archaeological past, its use for farming and fishing over many years, and its more recent life under Parks Canada.

Part family fun, part educational, we developed instructional and information signage for the trail, as well as the outdoor exhibits meant to interpret the natural and cultural history of the island.

STATUS

2014–16

TYPE

interpretive planning and design

CLIENT

Prince Edward Island National Park, Parks Canada

www.pc.gc.ca/

LOCATION

Robinsons Island, Prince Edward Island

BUILD PARTNER 

Skyline Atlantic Canada

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THE ROBINSONS In various places throughout the site, we tell the story of the main landowners who made use of the land in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, a feature describes cranberry foraging, and interprets the volume of the yearly harvest: 400 bushels of tart red berries or 14 times bigger than the frame.

THE ROBINSONS
In various places throughout the site, we tell the story of the main landowners who made use of the land in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, a feature describes cranberry foraging, and interprets the volume of the yearly harvest: 400 bushels of tart red berries or 14 times bigger than the frame.

POWER OF SEA AND WIND Changes wrought on the landscape are interpreted in a flip book that illustrates—through map and satellite photography—the affects of natural and human forces.

POWER OF SEA AND WIND
Changes wrought on the landscape are interpreted in a flip book that illustrates—through map and satellite photography—the affects of natural and human forces.

A SEASONAL FISHING STATION Multiple stations interpret various seafaring topics related to the history of the island. Here, an interactive station illustrates the fundamental principles of knot tying.

A SEASONAL FISHING STATION
Multiple stations interpret various seafaring topics related to the history of the island. Here, an interactive station illustrates the fundamental principles of knot tying.

DISCRETION A key part of our approach was to minimize the visual impact signs have on the landscape. Here, a small swing-arm post sits discretely in the landscape.

DISCRETION
A key part of our approach was to minimize the visual impact signs have on the landscape. Here, a small swing-arm post sits discretely in the landscape.

THE ROBINSONS Their history of settlement on the island is long ago erased by successive changes in use of the island. Multiple interpretive elements pay homage to the Island's namesake, The Robinsons family.

THE ROBINSONS
Their history of settlement on the island is long ago erased by successive changes in use of the island. Multiple interpretive elements pay homage to the Island's namesake, The Robinsons family.

A SIMPLE MARKER Wooden posts adorned with a simple graphic element indicate locations of interpretive content.

A SIMPLE MARKER
Wooden posts adorned with a simple graphic element indicate locations of interpretive content.

INTERPRETATION HERE A simple illustrated question mark indicates the theme of the interpretive content.

INTERPRETATION HERE
A simple illustrated question mark indicates the theme of the interpretive content.

SWING-ARM POSTS The posts are deigned with French text on one side and English on the other. When not held up by a visitor, the arm returns to a resting spot concealed within the wooden post.

SWING-ARM POSTS
The posts are deigned with French text on one side and English on the other. When not held up by a visitor, the arm returns to a resting spot concealed within the wooden post.

CLUSTERING In an attempt to minimize the visual impact of signage along the trail, we chose to cluster signage at various stations along the path.

CLUSTERING
In an attempt to minimize the visual impact of signage along the trail, we chose to cluster signage at various stations along the path.

VIEWFINDERS Taking advanatge of the Islands spectacular views, interactive viewfinders are an engaging way to help the visitor imaging what the landscape may have looked like at one time.

VIEWFINDERS
Taking advanatge of the Islands spectacular views, interactive viewfinders are an engaging way to help the visitor imaging what the landscape may have looked like at one time.

A BOUNTIFUL SHORE This station interprets the landscape's natural assets. Here a viewfinder interprets how the island was used by Mi'kmaq in the area for harvesting shellfish.

A BOUNTIFUL SHORE
This station interprets the landscape's natural assets. Here a viewfinder interprets how the island was used by Mi'kmaq in the area for harvesting shellfish.