Interpretive Sign Project Shows Environmental Value on Campus
A Kent State University student’s interpretive sign project is helping the university become more environmentally friendly.
Krisztina Janossy, who graduated this past December, started her interpretive design project for sustainable features on the Kent Campus. Janossy created signs at three sites located behind Henderson Hall and the Liquid Crystal Institute®: the butterfly garden, peatland wetland and permeable pavement.
Janossy worked in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at Kent State as an environmental outreach coordinator. She graduated with a degree in communication studies with a concentration in applied communications.
Janossy says one of her graduation requirements was to complete a practicum that included aspects of journalism, communication and design.
“When Dennis Baden, director of Environmental Health and Safety, pitched the idea for this project, I saw a great opportunity to use my background in graphic design,” Janossy says. “I was excited about the creative freedom and learning something new.”
Baden says that Kent State holds a MS4 Stormwater Permit, which mandates outreach to the general public about awareness of stormwater issues.
“To help us meet that requirement, I wanted to create informative signage to be placed at our numerous stormwater improvement controls on campus,” Baden says. “I initially spoke to people in the Office of the University Architect who were interested in creating interpretive signage for the butterfly garden and the peatland wetland. I thought it was a terrific idea and expressed our interest in partnering with that project as long as we could also create a stormwater-specific interpretive sign to go with the other two signs.”
Janossy says she started researching the project last summer and worked with Kent State faculty and staff in the Department of Biological Sciences.
“I learned a lot about being eco-friendly and the power of nature,” Janossy says. “The signs are one example of Kent State’s commitment as environmental stewards. Kent State is a green-friendly campus.”
Each sign displays information about the site and explains its environmental value.
Janossy says the two most important aspects she wants to educate the public about are stormwater pollution and preserving wetlands.
“The idea is to educate the public about controlling these sites and keeping them as natural as possible so life can still grow there,” Janossy says.
Janossy says she has received positive feedback about her project from people who have visited the sites.
“The biggest accomplishment I got out of this project was the opportunity to leave my mark at Kent State,” Janossy says. “I hope to come back years down the road and still see my signs at these sites.”