NAI Certification for Recreation Department

As many of you know, it takes practice, study and sometimes years of experience to be a successful interpreter. To support you along this journey, NAI offers both certification and training programs to grow and help you develop the skills you need to do your job or vocation successfully.”

– National Association of Interpretation (NAI)

Since 1998, the National Association of Interpretation (NAI) has been a leader in professional interpretation training and certifications. In an effort to improve our city’s programs and nature education opportunities, Parks and Recreation employees Sage Hegdal, Cameron Kniffen, and Fallon Franczyk (former) attended the National Association of Interpretation training course hosted at Farmington Hills Nature Center. This intensive course involved multiple opportunities to learn about and further develop our environmental, historical, and cultural interpretation, hands-on training, professional presentations and planning, and concluding exam for certification.

The Recreation staff members who attended are excited to have passed the requirements and are now in possession of this new professional and well-regarded certification.

Why is interpretation important?

The Parks and Recreation Department is passionate about providing meaningful and educational opportunities through recreation – especially pertaining to our parks, health and environment. Our goal in pursuing this certification was to expand on our interpretation skills, allowing us to better help our community members understand the natural world and foster positive and sustainable relationships between humans and our surrounding ecosystems.

Interpretation is also important to ensure that the needs of each participant are met both during our programming sessions and while we are making decisions about the future of our parks. During this training, we were further educated on the different ways that our parks and recreation opportunities can be designed and altered to meet specific needs.

To see our certifications put to good work, please join us at one of our many nature education programs out at the Hawk Woods Park and Campground, or attend one of our larger outdoor-focused events, such as the Fall Festival in the Woods (Oct. 8, 2022).

Cameron Kniffen, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Auburn Hills