Technology In Nature – FOX 21 Online

Hartley Nature Center Issues A Challenge

DULUTH, Minn. – In an effort to get more community involvement in the outdoors, the Hartley Nature Center is issuing a challenge to four local communities.

Not everybody can walk up to a tree and know exactly what they’re looking at

“This right here is a White Pine.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what you were looking at? Did you know there was an easier way for identifying living things?

“This iNaturalist platform that were using for this event is extremely user friendly, for kids, for adults. It’s very simple, it’s literally click a button and it’s uploading for you.” says Ryan Hueffmeier, Natural Resources Research Center.

Nature enthusiast in 16 cities across the U.S. will spend the next four days taking as many pictures of different living things in their natural habitat. Organizers say it’s an easier way to get people outside.

“They say if you can’t beat them, join them. To get kids off the couch and outside let’s bring technology with them. Once they see something they like or something they don’t understand or know you take a picture of it, upload it to their app; it’s as easy as that.”

Once it’s uploaded, scientist from across the country can identify the snap shot for you.

“The beauty of the nature challenge is you don’t need to know what it is in order to actually identify it as living. So you can take a photograph of it and it gets put out to a larger community of experts that can help you with identifying things,” Says Educator with Minnesota Sea Grant, Marty Kitson.

We only have one planet; experts say its best we teach our younger generation to take care of it.

“It’s a really great way to bridge the gap between what the current younger generation is interested in doing and what needs to be addressed in order to protect and preserve our natural and wild spaces,” Says Kitson.

This challenge isn’t just for the kiddos, nature can be a good thing for all ages.

“Research shows that getting people out in to nature, getting people out in the environment is good. It’s healthy for you, it’s good for stress, and it’s just good for everyday life,” Says Hueffmeier.