Cape Cod National Seashore Launches Cell Phone Interpretation Program
Contact: Sue Moynihan, Chief of Interpretation and Cultural Resources Management, 508 349 3785
Cell phones are nearly indispensable to our lives today, and many of the approximately 4 million visitors who come to Cape Cod National Seashore each year use them to check on family members at the beach, make dinner reservations, track down friends, or sign up for a ranger-guided canoe trip. Now, at select locations in Wellfleet and Eastham they can also use them to learn about the national seashore’s history, resources, and activities.
During August and September the seashore is experimenting with cell phone tour stops at six seashore locations. Topics for the 90-second messages include beach and bike trail enjoyment and safety, migratory shorebirds, the historic hay barge, Marconi’s wireless achievement, and the preservation of Fort Hill. A shipwreck tour stop will be added in September. The tour stops are designated by signs at each site. Stops are located at Coast Guard Beach, the Little Creek shuttle loading area, the Nauset Bike Trail, Salt Pond Visitor Center, the Marconi Station Site, and Fort Hill. Sites were selected for their compelling stories and good cell coverage.
“Like our outdoor exhibits, cell phone interpretation is available to visitors 24 hours, 7 days a week,” said seashore chief interpreter Sue Moynihan. “A ‘one-size fits all’ approach doesn’t work when providing opportunities for visitors to learn about the seashore. People want variety and we all learn differently. Taking advantage of cell phone technology provides a venue that will appeal to many visitors,” she said. The service is being provided on top of the dozens of ranger-conducted programs the seashore offers and the exhibits on display at visitor centers and historic buildings. Interpretive messages were developed and recorded by the seashore superintendent, historian, and park rangers.
The service is provided by OnCell Systems, Inc., which specializes in providing cell phone tours at parks, including Grand Canyon National Park, Independence National Historical Park, and Assateague Island and Gulf Islands National Seashores. The service is free, but callers who have minutes plans with their carriers will be charged for minutes used. During a 45-day trial period the seashore will have access to use statistics as well as feedback left by users. Seashore staff will use this information to decide whether to continue the service and expand it to other seashore locations.
For a flyer showing stop locations, stop by Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham or Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown.
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