Parks offer Virtual Experience through Podcasts and Webcams
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Homestead and Key West, FL — Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Park are incorporating technologies in our communications and outreach efforts to reach a broader audience. Each park has incorporated new and innovative communication tools to inform the public about park resources, special events, emergencies, and activities for visitors to enjoy.
Everglades National Park recently unveiled a new webcam that overlooks one of the most popular visitor areas in the park. Situated at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, the camera allows viewers to observe wildlife activity from three different vantage points. Visitors may catch a glimpse of birds and alligators on the move and ranger-led tours at http://nps.gov/ever/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.
Dry Tortugas National Park has recently unveiled a new underwater webcam that will provide an opportunity for visitors to Garden Key and to our website to view some of the underwater wonders unique to this remote National Park. Staff worked with Teens4Oceans, a Colorado-based non-profit educational organization, on a special project focused at getting youth interested in our oceans. What better way to appreciate our oceans than to watch what happens underwater! Follow the weblink below to see a view from an underwater camera at the boathouse dock or if you visit the park be sure and stop by the boathouse on your way in to Fort Jefferson to view a monitor and see what's going on in the water beneath your feet at http://www.nps.gov/drto/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.
Everglades National Park began producing podcasts in 2008 and is continuing to develop and refine this communication technique. Superintendent Dan Kimball says "Everglades is pleased to publish the first of many new podcast videos on the park's website. We believe this will inspire young people to appreciate this special natural place." The "Royal Palm" podcast is the first in a series of informational videos designed to orient visitors to the park and help them plan their visit. In the coming months, watch for more videos about the park's other districts, as well as some interpretive videos about park features and issues.
The podcast videos have been filmed, produced, and edited by a Seasonal Ranger funded through the Centennial Challenge program. This program has allowed the NPS to dedicate resources to all National Parks to improve visitor services and outreach. These high quality podcast videos can be enjoyed on small or large viewing screens, and include closed-captioning. Funding from the South Florida National Parks Trust and the park's donation boxes made training and video equipment purchases possible.
Did You Know?
Many of the orchids found within the Everglades are "epiphytic," growing on host trees that are used for support. This adaptation allows a variety of plants to grow in an otherwise harsh environment.