Old Growth Meets New Technology
Bilingual Audio Tours Unveiled at the Lisha Kill Natural Area
Ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the bi-lingual audio tours at the Lisha Kill Natural Area.
Conservancy scientist Troy Weldy leads an audio tour at Lisha Kill Natural Area.
Rick Werwaiss, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern New York Chapter was joined by state and local officials and area residents at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lisha Kill Natural Area in Schenectady County on Thursday, June 14 for the unveiling of the Conservancy’s new bilingual audio tours.
The audio tours are accessible through mobile technology. By scanning a QR code posted on trail signage discreetly located at the preserve, visitors can listen to a self-guided audio tour through their Smartphones. The tours are available in English and Spanish.
The nine stops along the 1.5 mile trail reveal facts about the preserve’s history, local geology, hydrology and the plants and animals found at the preserve. “Plugging in this way offers us the opportunity to educate people – young and old -- about the natural world,” said Werwaiss. “Lisha Kill is a popular destination for school groups, employees from the area businesses, and many other local residents. With the addition of the audio tours, we can enhance these visitors’ experiences by making this an educational destination as well.”
Tom Alworth, Deputy Commissioner for Natural Resources – New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation noted that New York State does not have the ability to staff naturalists and environmental educators at its sites. “There is no substitute for that kind of personal instruction, however, new technologies are an absolute must. The Nature Conservancy has jumped out in front on this. We are looking at how we can harness the power of this technology for environmental education at parks throughout New York State,” noted Alworth.
Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry also praised the addition of the audio tours to the preserve. “I'm all for anything that gets our children and adults active and getting them out on the trail,” said Landry. “Not only now can you enjoy nature, but you can be educated as you do it."
The Lisha Kill Natural Area is open to the public from mid-May through mid-February. The preserve is closed between late February and early May when use of the trails will result in severe damage erosion.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.