The Forest offers visitors unique experiences with nature and educational information, including a general, descriptive brochure; interpretive signage; and opportunities for self-guided and guided tours. The available educational material and programming, however, is extremely limited in its scope and breadth, an observation frequently shared with us by visitors, and unable to respond to new realities, such as the impact of Hurricane Maria's destruction upon the Forest and its ongoing recovery.
The creation of a dual language app that include visuals and sound, using the individual's phone GPS as an interactive guide, synced to new interpretative signage, will make more detailed dynamic content and timely information available to the physical and virtual Forest visitor. As a result, our thousands of annual visitors will more fully understand and learn from their experience within this fragile, rare ecosystem and the need to protect Puerto Rico's severely damaged environment.
In the long-term, the Forest will be better able to fulfill its mission as an open-air classroom, a venue for environmental education and place for scientific research). With the use of technology we will be able to more readily adapt to changes requiring content changes, allowing us to focus, for example, upon aspects of the forest's long-term recovery from Maria's destruction, offering visitors a unique, learning experience with life-long meaning, as adaptations are made to the app over time.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).