Innovative learning experience at Marie Louise Gardens

  • 22 Jun 2016

Urban Green has been appointed by Manchester City Council to provide an interactive, learning experience designed to attract new visitors to Marie Louise Gardens – a 4.75-acre park described as West Didsbury’s hidden gem.

An interactive tree trail will allow people of all ages to enjoy, interact and learn more about the green spaces that surround them. Visitors to the park will be able to use a smartphone or mobile device to access information about the park’s trees.

Scanning the plant label using a QR app on the mobile device reveals a description of the individual tree, along with images of the tree at different times of year and other interesting facts.

Visitors will also be able to use their mobile device to scan images, symbols and objects within the park to reveal content including videos, animations and images. This approach, known as Augmented Reality (AR) allows the physical and virtual worlds to merge together.

In addition, an ultra-high definition fly-through of the park using drone technology will offer a unique perspective of the park, adding value and interest. This short video will be accessible via Augmented Reality during the park visit and the Marie Louise Gardens website.

The Friends of Marie Louise Gardens and Urban Green are working closely to deliver this experience. The friends group was formed in 2008 and aims to protect and enhance the park’s wildlife, promote good ecological practice, act as a voice for the community and encourage people to use the Gardens. The last 18 months has seen the friend’s group make enormous progress in restoring the park to its former glory.

Marie Louise Gardens was awarded Green Flag status in 2015/6 for the third year running and intends to obtain Conservation status in the near future.

Scott Fitzgerald, Director of Urban Green, explains “We are really excited about the project and thanks to the open-minded willingness of Manchester City Council and the Friends of Marie Louise Gardens, we have the opportunity to use innovative and ground-breaking technology to enhance visitor experience to such a beautiful park. We hope the project will encourage people to enjoy local green spaces more and lead to a greater understanding of trees and their benefits to people and wildlife.”

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “This exciting project promises to have fantastic educational benefits and enhances the already growing appeal of this wonderful green space. We look forward to seeing how the application of Augmented Reality technology inspires visitors to find out more about their environment and helps connect residents with their local park in a whole new way.”

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