Posts Tagged ‘interpretation’

Public Garden Trend Alert — Teen Magnets?

Monday, August 18th, 2008

How do you get teenagers to come to public gardens, no less make things interesting once they’re there? These have long been vexing questions.

In the olden (pre texting and Facebook) days, intrepid educators at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden produced an exhibit on plants associated with such teen concerns as birth control and mind-bending substances. (They can do that kind of thing in Merry Ole England without causing bedlam and scaring off funders.)

Now at least two major botanic gardens are betting that GPS technology is just the ticket for this finicky cohort. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has unveiled the “Kew Ranger,” a hand-held GPS unit. The device, which is available for rent, tells teens (as well as technology-averse adults) their exact location in the garden, then displays information about nearby specimens. Meanwhile, in Miami, educators at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden are employing GPS units to get students psyched about plants.

Then there’s the fact that a representative from geocaching.com attended the APGA conference in Pasadena in June. Stay tuned.