Education & Research
The Phoenix Park Visitor Centre is a focal point for the education and interpretation in the Park and provides a range of facilities and materials for understanding the Park's history and environment. These materials are being continually developed by Phoenix Park management to meet the educational and interpretation needs of the visitor. The development of this website for The Phoenix Park is one such example, which will be utilised to disseminate information to a wider national and international audience.
Key resources in informing the public are the Guide Service and Park Rangers who interact with the public on many aspects of the Park. The Visitor Centre's displays, publications, event programmes, permanent and temporary information panels, expert speakers and demonstrations all assist with Park interpretation. The Visitor Centre is a valuable educational resource for schools and various specialist clubs and societies. Local schools, both primary and secondary, frequently participate in educational trips to The Phoenix Park Visitor Centre and to other areas of the Park. Numerous school and third level projects on various aspects of the Park’s history, geography, topography and natural history are undertaken on an ongoing basis. Many of these projects and specialist days such as National Tree Week and Tree Day have a strong involvement of other groups.
Appropriate interpretation of the Park and its facilities is crucial to assist the public in their understanding of the Park and also in the protection of this valuable resource.
There are a number of cast iron finger signposts still extant in the Park and some of the newer signposts are based on these, both to convey a sense of historical continuity and uniformity. Temporary signs are also erected from time to time, for instance to indicate when playing fields are unplayable, that grassland is unfit for horse riding and for other specific reasons.
Academic research is essential to achieve a deeper understanding of the Park, which will in turn be used as a tool to inform Park policy, necessary for its appropriate management. All research must be carried out with regard to the principles of sustainability. Considerable research on The Phoenix Park has been undertaken by academic institutions and experts to date and it is essential that this informative work is continued.
Strategic areas of research have been identified and must be driven by Park management. Monitoring the effects of research is fundamental for the successful use and implementation of the Conservation Management Plan. In order to undertake successful monitoring, the base information needs to be collated and readily available.
As part of any application for World Heritage Site designation it will be necessary to prepare a Research Framework Programme and to implement this on foot of designation.