Developments for new interpretive signage for the Crystal River Archaeological State Park (CRASP) has been moving forward with help from FPAN, Florida Humanities Council, The Friends of Crystal River State Parks, Inc., and University of South Florida Department of Anthropology. On behalf of the Crystal River Archaeological State Park – Dr. Tom Pluckhahn, CRASP researcher and professor of archaeology at USF, was awarded a Florida Humanities Council “Mini Grant” for the project. With matching funding coming from The Friends of Crystal River State Parks, we are moving step-by-step on development for new and much needed interpretive panels at the park. Talented FPAN staff has been working on designing the new signage to help improve public understanding and appreciation of Native American history generally, and specifically for the Crystal River archaeological site. New signage will be placed at the entrance and throughout the park to aid visitors in understanding this unique prehistoric site.

In hopes of gaining park visitor input about what they would like to see in the new signage, FPAN staff rolled out brown newsprint inside the CRASP museum, set out some markers, and asked, “what questions to you have about the Crystal River archaeological site?” After about a week the newsprint tablecloth was covered with questions, comments, and children’s drawings. Over the weeks to come, we hope to address many of the questions and comments folks jotted down in the museum. “Why did they build houses on the mounds?” “Where did the people go?” and “When will new signage be installed?” These were just a couple of the questions folks asked during their visit to the park.

I encourage everyone to follow FPAN Central’s Facebook and Instagram  pages for the Q&A about the Crystal River Archaeological State Park. Please feel free to send any additional questions to our Facebook page. This is a great opportunity to open a dialogue about the archaeological park, and we hope to enhance the visitor’s experience with new, dynamic, and well-designed signage.