State parks in Oregon provide important sites for visitor recreation and natural resource education. With the increasing number of visitors to Oregon coastal parks, tide pools and beach areas, there is growing need for site-specific marine education to enhance stewardship, interpretation and safety knowledge. The Oregon Sea Grant Program and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department collaborated in a demonstration project of low power radio (LPR) technology in 1998. An evaluative research project of this technology was conducted at Boiler Bay State Park, Oregon during July through August 1998. This project evaluated the effectiveness of a 100 milliwatt low power radio broadcast in providing coastal resource interpretation to
visitors parked at a scenic overlook. LPR is a limited broadcast range AM radio station
that park visitors can tune-in on their car radio to hear pre-recorded messages. Several research parameters were investigated during the evaluative portion of the project: (1) do signage numbers influence LPR listenership, and (2) does a relationship exist between specific demographic characteristics of visitors and listenership? Visitor surveys were conducted three days a week from July 1, 1998 to August 2, 1998 during 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Occupants from 822 vehicles (i.e. cars, trucks, RV's or motorcycles) were interviewed. Research results indicate that significantly more visitors tuned-in when more signs were displayed. Demographics do not appear to be a significant factor in listenership. Ninety-seven percent of LPR listeners recommended that LPR stations be
placed in additional parks. Results from this study indicate that LPR broadcasts are a
promising communication technology for providing park visitors with helpful information.
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