New smartphone/tablet app allows for info and games at Stroud Preserve
EAST BRADFORD — Hiking through some of Chester County’s nicest preserved open spaces? Yeah, there’s an app for that.
The Natural Lands Trust, which manages a number of local nature preserves, launched an app to provide children of all ages a fun, informative tour of the organization’s 574-acre Stroud Preserve.
Natural Lands Trust’s SCVNGR Challenge uses the free SCVNGR app for smartphones and tablets to guide visitors on a virtual tour of the popular nature preserve. Along the way, users are presented with a number of “challenges” designed to educate them about the natural resources on the property. Challenges range from activities like a leaf race in which users rush to find as many different types of leaves as possible in 60 seconds, to questions based on maps and signs posted at the preserve. When all the challenges are completed, users can earn a special reward: a free Natural Lands Trust SCVNGR Challenge t-shirt (available while supplies last).
“SCVNGR is a way to bridge the gap between technology and nature,” offers Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “We all know that children are spending increasing amounts of time with electronic devices and less time exploring the outdoors. SCVNGR is a way to get them excited about nature using a tool they love and use on a daily basis.”
The SCVNGR app is used by major educational institutions and museums across the country including the Smithsonian Institute. Natural Lands Trust was the first organization, however, to make use of the app to provide a tour of a nature preserve.
Natural Lands Trust’s SCVNGR Challenge is great for family outings as well as scout troops, small school or church groups, after-school programs, etc. With support from the McLean Contributionship, which has underwritten the program, a small number of tablets are available for educational groups to borrow at the preserve.
Stroud Preserve is located at 454 North Creek Road. It is open, free of charge, during daylight hours, seven days a week. To take the SCVNGR Challenge, simply download the free app to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device (you will need a device with cellular data access; wi-fi is not available). When you arrive at the preserve, open the app, click on “Treks” on the main page, and look for “Stroud Preserve – NLT.”
For more information about Natural Lands Trust’s SCVNGR Challenge, including a free Grown-Up’s Guide, or to learn more about scheduling your small group to take the challenge, visit www.natlands.org/scvngr.