How do you make a state’s number-one attraction even better? That was our charge for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Oklahoma Trails exhibit. And we achieved the goal. The grand opening helped pull in a record-breaking 800,000 visitors in 2007. Working with the zoo and architectural teams, we built the entire experience around the earliest settlers and Native American design vocabulary. It felt like you were stepping back in time. We provided environmental design, research and writing and interpretive graphics. The interactive exhibit covers eight acres of natural habitat and includes almost 50 native animal species. It spans 13 distinctive ecosystems, each announced by a large vertical stone marker with the dominant animal species. A black bear crest emblazons the oversized entry monument.
Original illustrations and fun facts convey the animals’ personalities and make you want to take one home. Or maybe not if it’s the American alligator.SONIA GRETEMAN
and creative director
We designed the interpretive graphics to be fun and interactive. In addition to learning important facts about the animals, kids can stick their hands into the den of a sleeping bear to hear it growl or touch a stump marked by actual bear claw marks. They can feel a real bison skull complete with authentic Indian painting, or walk through a darkened barn and see nocturnal critters: owls, bats and opossums. They can compare the length of their outstretched arms against a full-grown eagle’s six-foot wingspan. Signage educates, stimulates and provides a connection to the animals so future generations will care about conservation of lands and species. Interpretive signage was manufactured from porcelain for longevity and durability. The interactive exhibits are ADA friendly and allow optimum access for easy viewing.