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                                          November  2013

 JV Stonehenge #2.jpg (9354 bytes)    Welcome to our web site. JVA is a firm that specializes in Heritage Interpretation and Heritage Tourism Planning and Training.   We are one of the few firms offering interpretive consultant services that is staffed by "professionally trained" interpreters. We bring a strong academic interpretive background mixed with lots of field experience with 30 years of "doing" interpretive master planning and staff interpretive training as well as teaching university courses in interpretation.

Scroll down for new project listings, new services and courses and related updates.  The index on the left will take you to other parts of my web site.  Thanks for visiting - jv


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John Veverka is a National Association for Interpretation:

          Certified Interpretive Planner  

           Certified Interpretive Trainer.  

John is also a Certified Heritage Interpreter - Canada. This is a National Certification authorized by the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council.

  Canadian Tourism Logo.jpg (25530 bytes)           NAI New CIT Logo.jpg (26105 bytes)    NAI CIP Logo.jpg (121857 bytes)

All of the above certifications are based on both written exams, reviewing a video of John conducting an interpretation training course, and personal interview (Canada).   The NAI Certifications also require a review of interpretive products (examples of completed interpretive plans or training lesson plans).

     This mix of academic training and years of field experience is an important element in my interpretive training courses as I feel theory must mix with "reality" of what works.  And in interpretation and heritage tourism, reality is always changing.  For more information on our unique qualifications in interpretation consulting, click here or visit any of our other pages by clicking the blue LINKS on the left.  And enjoy your visit!  - John Veverka

Scroll down for updates on our new projects, interpretive training courses (dates/locations), new publications in our library, and more. 


NEW - Request for Proposal Example Templates for "Interpretive Master Planning, Interpretive Exhibit Planning, and Planning/Design/Fabrication for Interpretive Panels and wayfinding systems" available from JVA.

If you need some help with developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an interpretive project you want to go out for bid,   I have example templates of RFP's for contracting: Interpretive Master Planning, Interpretive Exhibit Design and Interpretive Panel projects.   These reflect typical RFP's formats taken from a variety of agencies, including State Parks, The National Park Service, and even non-profit organizations I have worked with.

I originally developed this document for use by members (profit and non-profit) of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network program. http://www.baygateways.net/index.cfm

These RFP templates include examples of consultant qualifications, scope of work, warranties and other RFP necessities.  If you would like a copy of the Interpretive RFP Template document, I would be happy to send you one by e-mail.  Just send me an e-mail requesting a copy to: jvainterp@aol.com or if you have any questions in general.  - jv


HDC Logo.jpg (90537 bytes)   JVA partners with HDC to form international heritage destination and interpretation development firm.

JVA is pleased to announce its association with HDC, a new international firm specializing in planning and training for  developing or existing heritage destinations.    We can help plan and develop both the total heritage site (resort, fishing lodge, cruise ship, historic community or city, historic region, etc.), and its interpretive/heritage programs and services, train staff, developing marketing strategies, do visitor surveys, develop support services and more.   Visit our HDC web site http://www.heritagedestination.com for more details on how we can help bring you more visitors while preserving the natural and cultural heritage they are coming to see and experience.


Need Interpretive Training for Docents, Seasonal Staff, or Full Time Staff?

Malta Gp Photo.jpg (537561 bytes) SNP Living Interp. 2005 #2.jpg (208298 bytes)                            Slovenia - 04 Gp Photo.jpg (134015 bytes) Dawson City Parks & Museum.jpg (222289 bytes) BGEN 05 Workshop.jpg (236934 bytes)  Greece - Thegroupontheedgeofadolinecircumference.jpg (5454771 bytes)

Photos from some of our international training courses (graduates of our 5-day interpretation overview course on Malta - top left; Planning/presenting Live Interpretive Programs course in Wales - top right, and graduates of our 5-day Interpretive Master Planning course in Slovenia - bottom left), Parks Canada and Dawson City Museum Interpretive training - Dawson City, Canada, and our BEGN - Botanical Garden Education Network - England workshop (bottom left).  Bottom right, participants in our "Introduction to Heritage Interpretation - Interpreting your Geological Heritage" developed for the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, Athens, Greece (2007).

Plan for your  interpretive training programs now.  I provide 1 day  to 5- day interpretive training courses for parks, historic sites, museums and related heritage attractions.  From skill training in how to plan and deliver an interpretive walk, tour or program, to the basics in interpretive communication. My training courses PROVOKE, RELATE and REVEAL - and add in some magic to ensure participants can DO what we teach.  Lots of hands on as well as "minds-on" experiences.

Some of our courses include:

- An introduction to basic interpretive services.

- Planning and conducting guided tours and programs.

- Developing themes, objectives and programs with sparkle.

- Interpretive Media Planning and Design.

- Interpretive Master Planning

- Marketing for heritage sites and attractions.

- Museum/historical society guide/docent training - provoke, relate, and reveal your story.

- Evaluation strategies for interpretive exhibits, programs or related services.

- Visitor center exhibit planning, design and evaluation.

- Market survey research and audience analysis - who are your visitors, and who do you want them to be?

- Interpretive writing that provokes, relates, and reveals (Tilden was right)!

- The art of teaching interpretation to others (Train the Trainers workshops).


COST: $800/day of training plus travel expenses. 

I also provide advanced courses on interpretive planning, exhibit and visitor center planning and evaluation of interpretive programs and services as well.

All of our courses are based on years of "doing" interpretation, not just theory.  Contact me if you have any questions at: jvainterp@aol.com.   You can also go here for more information on our training services.

Some of our recent/current interpretive training clients:

* Blue Badge Guides, London, England

* National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Program

* US Army Corps of Engineers

* Parks Canada

* Snowdonia National Park Training Center - Wales, UK.

* Florida State Parks

* The Countryside Counsil of Wales, UK.

* Norfolk Tourism, UK..

* Plus a bunch more.


JVA NewsRecently awarded projects for 2008. (For all of our 2008 completed projects click here).


Corps Logo.jpg (8698 bytes) MWH Americans, Inc/US Army Corps of Engineers, Bonnet Carre' Spillway, Louisiana. JVA will work as a sub-contractor to MWH Americans, Inc. who are developing the overall Master Plan for the Spillway, to develop the Interpretive Master Plan for the site.  You can visit Bonnet Carrie' Spillway at: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/Recreation/Recreation_Sites_Bonnet_Carre.asp   This project will begin in June, 2008.

Location of Bonnet Carre Spillway

The spillway (highlighted in green) stretches from the Mississippi River, ,at right, northward to Lake Ponchartrain, on the left of the photo.


Susquehanna Greenway Logo.jpg (20667 bytes) Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, Pennsylvania.  JVA has been awarded the contract to develop the Interpretive Master Plan for the Susquehanna River Water Trail, a 500 mile long corridor that bisects most of eastern Pennsylvania, and includes cultural, natural and historic resources and stories located throughout the corridor.  The project will also include: development of a wayfinding system, site analysis of existing orientation and safety panels, analysis of potential retrofit of existing panels, an outdoor recreation linkage system, and a model signage plan for the water trail Phase II.   The project will run through December of 2008.  You can visit this client at: http://www.susquehannagreenway.org .



Corps Logo.jpg (8698 bytes) US Army Corps of Engineers - Interpretive Training.  JVA was awarded a  new 5-year interpretive services training contract for teaching two 3-day "Interpretive Services" courses each year for the COE at their Huntsville, AL training center.  We are now planning for our 2009 training.   JVA has been providing this interpretive training course for the Corps of Engineers for the past 20 years, and is pleased to be able to continue providing this valuable training for the Corps.

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Participants in last years Interpretive Services Course (field trip to Constitution Hall Village Historic Site and in-class lectures and activities).


Praters Mill Found. Logo.jpg (28740 bytes)  Prater's Mill Foundation, Dalton, GA.  JVA has been asked to provide interpretive consulting services, and interpretive site assessment services for the Foundation, for Prater's Mill in Whitfield County, GA.  February - May 2008.  We were also recently awarded a contract to develop the Interpretive Master Plan for the Mill and its associated heritage partners within their multi-county region.  You can visit this client at: http://www.PratersMill.org.

Praiters Mill Photo.jpg (43234 bytes) Prater's Mill.



Shenandoah Valley Logo.jpg (33385 bytes)   The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley - Glen Burnie Historic House and Gardens Interpretive Plan.  JVA was selected to develop the interpretive master plan for the Glen Burnie Historic House and Gardens facility within the museum campus.   You are invited to visit this client at: http://www.shenandoahmuseum.org.   The project will run from April 08 - September 2008.

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WI Forestry Logo.jpg (10278 bytes) Wisconsin DNR Division of Forestry - Forestry Education and Awareness Center Interpretive Master Plan.  JVA was selected to develop the Interpretive Plan for the new Forestry Education and Awareness Center, Milwaukee County, WI.  June 07 - May 08.

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A general view of the woodlot area (left) and our proposed aerial or canopy elevated boardwalk leading from the Forestry Awareness and Interpretive Center into the forest canopy with discovery stations.


Macomb Comm Col. logo.jpg (10939 bytes) Macomb Community College Cultural Center, Clinton Twp, Michigan. Provide a interpretive exhibit planning focus workshop for the Cultural Center exhibition team for their new Great Lakes - Great Stories exhibition to open this summer. Provide consultation services for upcoming exhibitions 2007-2008.   You can find out more about the Cultural Center and its exhibition schedule at:  http://www.macombculturalcenter.com/

PA - logo.jpg (6291 bytes)Cultural and Heritage Tourism Program, State of Pennsylvania - Provide interpretive planning, marketing and visitor survey consultation services to the six major hubs and State Office, for the state-wide Pennsylvania Underground Railroad and Pennsylvania Quest for Freedom programs development efforts.  This project will run from 1 July 07 through 2009.


Snowdonia NP Logo.jpg (56798 bytes) Snowdonia National Park Training Center, Wales.

New Courses for 2009

4-6 May, 2009.  Introduction to Interpretation. This is an "entry level" basic interpretation course for individuals finding themselves working in interpretive sites or positions who have had no formal training in interpretive services.

15-17 September, 2009.  Advanced Interpretation.  This advanced interpretation course will look at a variety of subjects including interpretive master planning, marketing for heritage sites, interpretive product development, audience development, new technologies, and visitor surveys and evaluation.  We will focus on how to attract more visitors and make more income and more cost effective programs and services.

*   Contact plas@eryri-npa.gov.uk for more information.


For a listing of all of our 2006 clients click HERE.   

For a listing of our 2007 clients, click HERE.


greatbrW.gif (9287 bytes)International Projects for 2008 mexicoW.gif (7959 bytes)

See our "JVA Interpretive training opportunities" listing below for our international training programs.


             Recent Articles/publications

    We have added new articles to our LIBRARY:

newWHT.gif (12948 bytes) Using interpretive themes and objectives will make your
program planning easier and more effective
  This is a short 3-page article/handout great for interpretive training workshops for seasonal interpretive staff, docents, or anyone involved in planning for interpretive programs - for any subject content.

Is Your Scenic Byway Interpretation Sustainable? Published in Vistas (the publication of America's Byways Resource Center, Duluth, MN), January/February 2003 issue.

Exhibit Evaluation for Children’s Exhibits -The Kirby Science Center Experience. (Published in Interpret Scotland, Issue 4, Autumn 2001).

Planning for Interpretive Training Courses. (published in Interpscan, the national journal of Interpretation Canada, Vol. 28, No. 3 March 2002.)

"Interpretive planning for the new millennium - The "product of the product", "outcome based planning" and the "experience economy".  Click HERE to go to this article in our library. (Note: This article was published in Legacy, the magazine of the National Association for Interpretation, May/June 2000 issue.)

"Why Heritage Sites Need Interpretation For Their Long Term Survival."  This paper was prepared for the National Trust for Scotland for an interpretation seminar presented to NTS staff, October, 2000.  To read this article, CLICK HERE.

To view the other articles in the interpretation library, click HERE.


   JVA Interpretive Training Opportunities


 Snowdonia NP Logo.jpg (56798 bytes)  New  JVA courses for 2008 at Snowdonia.


Planning and Design of Interpretive Media, 2-5th September, 2008

Contact plas@eryri-npa.gov.uk or John Veverka jvainterp@aol.com for details.

New Courses for 2009

4-6 May, 2009.  Introduction to Interpretation. This is an "entry level" basic interpretation course for individuals finding themselves working in interpretive sites or positions who have had no formal training in interpretive services.

15-17 September, 2009.  Advanced Interpretation.  This advanced interpretation course will look at a variety of subjects including interpretive master planning, marketing for heritage sites, interpretive product development, audience development, new technologies, and visitor surveys and evaluation.  We will focus on how to attract more visitors and make more income and more cost effective programs and services.



For more information about our world wide services:

JVA #1.jpg (56063 bytes)  JVA Korea 2.jpg (235816 bytes)

Stonehenge #2 2000.jpg (151596 bytes) Stonehenge, England

JV at C-Itza.jpg (123193 bytes) JV at the Mayan city of Chichen-Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.  The "observatory" is in the background.

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JV at one of the seven world heritage sites located on Malta (left) and at the Haida Heritage Center, Graham Island, Skidegate, Canada.


John Veverka, President of JVA.  John provides interpretive consulting  services world-wide, from England (top left and middle photo) to Korea (top right) and in Europe, Canada, Mexico (second from bottom photo), on the Island of Malta (bottom photo)  and the  United States.  Check out our 1999-2003  project and client list.  For recent projects for 2004 and 2005 click the year in the index on the left at the top of this page.                                                                                                                       

If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at:

John Veverka & Associates, 2069 Ashland, Okemos, Michigan, USA   48864 (517-347-2166; fax: 347-2064) or E-Mail me at:  jvainterp@aol.com.

        At JVA "Our product is YOUR success!"