As a Great Parks’ naturalist for the past 18 years, one thing I have noticed lately is how difficult it can be to pull children and adults away from electronic devices long enough to enjoy the great outdoors. Rather than fighting the challenge, I have found a way to embrace it.
Great Parks is jumping on board to connect people with nature through technology. Discovery Agents is a free mobile app that is a new way to explore the outdoors. The game encourages users to discover hidden geo-located challenges that can only be solved through observation.
Starting today, you can begin your mission at Sharon Woods! It’s simple to get started: just download the Discovery Agents app through Google Play or the App Store. (We recommend you download it at home or stop by the Sharon Centre or Sharon Woods Harbor for access to a Wi-Fi hot spot.)
Sharon Woods features 25–30 challenges for nature detectives to solve. Challenges will test nature knowledge with multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, color matching, augmented reality and more. To find the challenges, use the compass on the Discovery Agents app as a guide. Then walk, ride, hop or slither around Sharon Woods to find a challenge near you.
The app is a new way for you to enjoy the park with family, friends or on your own. You’ll get some fresh air and you might even learn something new. So give it a try!
Julie Robinson, Hub Naturalist, Sharon Woods