State Parks Visitors Can Collect Digital Badges in New App-Based Passport Program
By Olivia Wynkoop
Bay City News Foundation
State park visitors can now track their adventures in California’s 280 parks and earn badges along the way in a digital passport program launched on Wednesday.
No longer are the days where state park lovers have to carry around a paper passport to be stamped at the visitor center — now, visitors can check-in at each park and receive a badge on their phones, accessible via the California State Parks Apps.
“This new Passport Program adds a layer of play that’ll help entice new visitors – especially digital natives and folks more accustomed to screens and feeds than streams and fields – to find that out for themselves,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero.
Each check-in will be added to the user’s profile, where they can also add photos. Users are able to recount their adventures, share with their friends and take note of which parks to visit next.
“With the digital Passport Program and interactive enhancements in the app, everyone will have the opportunity to create personal and meaningful relationships with parks while also developing a deeper experience – both during their park visit and long after they leave through digital community engagement,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, president and CEO of Parks California. “These lasting connections will foster the next generation of park stewards who will protect these amazing places.”
The state parks app, built by the technology platform OuterSpatial, also provides information on park closures, directions and wayfinding. OuterSpatial is specifically designed for outdoor organizations hoping to expand their access and engagement to visitors.
“We believe in empowering organizations to deliver the best outdoor experience to visitors. The State of California has done incredible work to provide easy access to the outdoors to people of all ages and abilities, and it’s a huge milestone for OuterSpatial to partner with California State Parks and its new digital Passport Program as part of that progress,” said Ryan Branciforte, CEO of OuterSpatial. “Our collaboration will help accelerate their popular Passport Program and will encourage a diverse audience to enjoy all that California has to offer, from its oceans, mountains, lakes, and deserts, to the rest of what its parks have to offer.”
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