St. Jones Reserve in Dover, Delaware is a 3,750-acre nature preserve on the edge of Delaware Bay dominated by salt marsh. Deep inside is an environmental education, training, and research facility at the end of the long unpaved road–how do you ensure visitors that they’re on the right track and not getting lost in the countryside?
Education Coordinator Jennifer Holmes came up with a clever idea to install a series of signs along the entry road to assure drivers they’re on the right path, but pushing the idea a bit more, each has just a short fragmentary idea to compel them along in historic Burma Shave fashion (“the verse by the side of the road” from 1927-1963). Even better, it works in both directions–one series of messages as you enter and another as you exit. It’s both informational and fun.
The signs are simple: 4″ x 4″ wooden posts with 3/8″ exterior plywood panels painted in a barn red color that contrasts with the surrounding green landscape and complements the colors used in the historic farm buildings nearby. The signs have 3 to 6 words–how’s that for concise!–and are produced on a high density polyethylene about 1/16″ thick (0.110 gauge?) that’s designed for outdoor durability and colorfastness by Voss Signs. These plastic signs are bolted into each corner of the plywood panel so they’re held tight and yet removable. They’ve been up for nearly two years, so they’re in great shape and it looks like they don’t need much maintenance (notice that the grass has been pulled back a couple feet from the sign to avoid damage from mowers and trimmers).