Like Nature, Only Better?

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The Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in Florida has unveiled the country’s first iNature trail, a path through the refuge that’s “enhanced” with a set of QR (Quick Response) codes that hikers, bikers, and drivers can scan with their smart phones. The codes take users to websites with in depth information about the refuge’s wildlife and ecosystem. Scan one code and you’ll be taken to a video that details how to plant a mangrove tree. There are 22 codes scattered along the trail, some with content for children, others for adults. Refuge management hopes the QR codes and the iNature trail concept will help attract a broader audience. Currently, 40 percent of adults own smart phones. “Our refuge is moving into the mobile world to educate thousands of people about wildlife and its protection in a whole new way, said refuge ranger Toni Westland in a press statement.

We’d like to know what you think about this concept that blends mobile technology with an outdoor experience. Will the use of QR codes attract more visitors to our parks? Should our parks and refuges be so eager to include mobile technology like QR codes and wifi hotspots?

Find out more about the refuge and the iNature trail here.

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