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TreeCaching QR codes encourage children to discover nature

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A new program launched in the Humber Arboretum is using quick response codes in a method new to North America.

A registered charity called Climate’s Sake has launched a new program using QR codes that involves an expansion to its TreeCaching trail, and that has been designed to help to encourage children to get out and explore the nature around them.

Along the trail are trees that have quick response codes posted on them, to appeal to mobile-carrying kids.

The funding for the expansion of 11 trees to create a total of 16 trees that feature tags with QR codes came from the Retired Teachers of Ontario District 22 Etobicoke York. Located at the Humber Arboretum, the Beech-Vista Trail of tagged trees offers kids of all ages the opportunity to be able to explore nature, right in the middle of the suburb of Toronto.

According to the Climate’s Sake president and founder, Alice Casselman, “I’d love to see grandparents bringing their grandchildren, children bringing their grandparents. Kids are leaving their friends for (computer) monitors. Not playing street hockey. I want to bring that back.”

These QR codes help to provide visitors with fascinating information through a self-guided nature walk.

QR codes on trees support learningCasselman went on to say that the purpose of the quick response codes is to help to “take them where they are and take it outside. You need to roll with where kids are at, speak their language.”

The self-guided TreeCaching nature walk allows smartphone carrying trail users to be able to use any free QRcode reader app so that they can scan the barcodes that are posted on the trees. The scan automatically directs the device to a website that provides information about the specific tree on which the barcode was found, as well as interesting facts about that particular species of tree.

Among the trees that have QR codes along the trail are rare species such as the bitternut hickory, the American beech, the blue beech, the white ash, the ironwood, and even the sugar maple. The program will soon be adding more trees to its barcoded species on the trail.

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About Julie Campbell: Though her true passion is for writing her own fiction novel and holding fundraisers in support of the fight against cancer (as well as donating her hair to that cause in 2011), Julie has created both a name for herself and a successful business in the writing industry. For more than ten years, she has focused her career on capturing the latest technology news, which now includes a particular interest in QR codes and wearable technology.

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One Response to "TreeCaching QR codes encourage children to discover nature"

  1. Gautam Garg says:

    QR Code trails has always been a good way to combine nature, technology, and learning. Many schools in the United States have taken up this practice for student projects. The advantage is that QR Codes are quite cost-effective and all students need is an online QR Code Generator and Management tool (such as Scanova).

    Its good to see that the practice is catching up in Canada as well. Thanks Julie for sharing the story.

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