Li’l-Le-Hi Trout Nursery

Allentown, PA

Li'l-Le-Hi Trout Nursery Wayside signage From Hatchery to Nursery

Scope: Interpretive Signage, Circulation Plan

The Li’l-Le-Hi Trout Nursery in Allentown PA is not only a fascinating park environment, but also a historical treasure. Established in 1883, the Little Lehigh Trout Nursery was the first hatchery in Pennsylvania with a 27 acres site containing a spring and a series of ponds. Today fingerlings are delivered by Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission and are grown here to maturity. The nursery releases approximately 30,000 mature trout in city streams each year. As a public park, the nursery needed a system of interpretive signs around the complex to help explain to visitors the different features of the trout hatchery and to explain basic principles of fish biology. Interpretive Solutions worked with the city’s Parks and Recreation department to develop content and to specify interpretive stanchions. The goal was to create a clearly navigable circulation system that would orient visitors at the complex. Development and design of a system of integrated kiosks and interpretive panels involved the following steps:
1. Create a Trout Nursery visitor experience and circulation plan.
2. Develop a wayfinding system to aid in park navigation.
3. Conduct interpretive research and develop an interpretive strategy for presenting a history of the hatchery, including relevant information about the natural history of trout.
4. Prepare a thematic interpretive plan that explains the hatchery’s significance and identifies solutions for delivering historical and environmental stories.
5. Prepare a script and specify visuals for exterior interpretive signs that would inform the general public with regard to:
  • The purpose and function of the hatchery and its operation;
  • The various physical components of the hatchery and their functions, including the process of trout stocking, trout water classifications and other important trout species information to be recommended by naturalists;
  • The importance of trout and other species in measuring water quality;
  • The operation of a hatchery/nursery with a focus on the system of different ponds and related structures visible to the visitor, including how the ponds are used to stock Allentown’s streams;
  • The feeding of fish, including clear explanations of why strict feeding rules and regulations are important at the hatchery;
6. Design interpretive graphics and a signage stanchion standards.
7. Develop bid documents and solicit fabrication proposals from vendors.