Urban Watershed and Local Utility Systems at Turtle Bay Exploration Park


Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the City of Redding, CA


Redding, CA

The Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the City of Redding, California teamed up with Ideum to produce a novel and engaging digital exhibit. This custom software application offers visitors to Turtle Bay opportunities to learn more about the watershed and local utility systems.

The software offers visitors multiple avenues for exploration. If a user chooses to explore menu items from top to bottom, they will find that they are drilling down in terms of scale, from the wider region all the way to their own place in the system.

The visitor journey begins with a large map of the Redding area, with fun facts popping up around the edges of the screen. Once a visitor has tapped the map to begin, the display splits into four stations, with the station that has been tapped rotating to face the visitor. This unique setup allows multiple guests to navigate through the experience simultaneously.

Once a visitor has activated exploration of their map station, they are presented with a menu of options. At the top of the menu, they are able to control layers in the map. For example, visitors can turn on and off ArcGIS mapping layers displaying the utility infrastructure that delivers clean water, takes away wastewater, channels stormwater, and delivers power for the residents of Redding. The map is also searchable, so that visitors may type in a particular address and see the infrastructure surrounding and serving that specific location. Tappable points of interest call up media viewers which offer photos, videos, and text related to the location.

The visitor may also explore media viewers related to the watershed. This content explores natural features and shares information about the ways that the watershed supports the utility infrastructure, and by extension, the daily lives of Redding residents.

Moving through the menu, visitors may next choose to explore two custom animated scenes. These scenes present the inside and outside of a home. A variety of real-world challenges are presented in each scene, such as mylar balloons tangled in a power line, grease being poured down a kitchen sink drain, and a leaky faucet. The visitor taps each one to learn more about what’s happening, why it’s a problem, and how to solve the issue.

Visitors also have the opportunity to use the exhibit to make an environmental pledge to support the health and sustainability of both the watershed and the utility systems. Behavioral research suggests that committing to specific actions increases the likelihood of actually following through. The application offers nine pledges to choose from. After submitting their pledges, visitors are presented with data about how other people have pledged. This is a particularly interesting feature for our client, because the application will capture a count and percentage of visitors making each pledge.

Building this application brought together museum professionals from Turtle Bay, utility experts from the City of Redding, and the Ideum design and development team. At full count, the project team included fifteen people, and all gave the project the time, energy, and attention it needed to produce an exciting and completely unique exploration of utilities and the urban watershed.

The application was designed to be presented on a 65” Ideum inline touch display integrated into a repurposed physical water table. Integration is currently in progress.

Guests can tap the screen to view maps or explore environmental challenges.
The exhibit presents a stylized view of the links between utility systems and the local watershed.
Integrated media viewers let visitors delve deeper into local environmental issues.