AT&T awarded Grand Teton National Park Foundation a $250,000 contribution toward Inspiring Journeys: A Campaign for Jenny Lake, a comprehensive restoration of the park’s most popular destination in honor of the National Park Service centennial in 2016. The contribution will be used to create technological tools that will advance traditional interpretive techniques in the soon-to-be renovated plaza at South Jenny Lake. This technology will enrich the visitor experience by greatly expanding interpretive offerings.
The Foundation’s Inspiring Journeys campaign is focused on creating a cohesive, durable, and timeless complex of trails and visitor facilities at one of Grand Teton’s most visited destinations. As part of the campaign, the Foundation will expand offerings in the current visitor plaza to include a comprehensive interpretive component. Through AT&T’s support, the Foundation will design and develop a new digital guide as an integrated package of digital and wireless resources available to visitors. While the idea is in a conceptual phase now, the Foundation envisions a suite of apps and interactive digital resources such as flora/fauna guides and walking tours that make use of augmented reality.
“We’re excited by the introduction of technology to the project,” says Leslie Mattson, president of Grand Teton National Park Foundation. “This digital guide will greatly enhance the visitor experience by delivering a wealth of educational and interactive material to the people who visit Jenny Lake.”
By sharing technology-focused educational content at the interpretive plaza, the park will augment traditional waysides and gain richer, more complete interpretive information, providing a well-rounded experience for everyone including those with limited time or ability.
The Foundation and the park see this project as an opportunity to use technology to advance visitor experiences and rethink traditional interpretive techniques widely used by Grand Teton and other national parks. Currently, there is very little information specific to Jenny Lake on-site beyond a few maps and details ranger share verbally. Expanding educational content will transform a visitor’s time at Jenny Lake into an informative and enjoyable one. The guide will deliver a large volume of content and interactivity that will feel modern, relevant, and appealing to a younger audience.
“We are proud to partner with Grand Teton National Park as they use technology to create a richer educational experience and showcase one of the most inspiring, natural wonders in the U.S.”, said Cheryl Riley, director of external affairs, AT&T Wyoming. “Our goal is to connect consumers with information they want and need across the country, even here in our national parks”.
“As part of our goal to effectively engage and enhance visitor enjoyment for all park visitors, as well as appeal to younger audiences, we are excited to provide and utilize digital and emerging technology through the Inspiring Journeys project at Jenny Lake,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela. “We greatly appreciate the progress we can make on this front through this generous grant offered by AT&T to our fundraising partner, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.”
With one million visitors exploring the Jenny Lake area each year, the Foundation believes technology is the key to reaching greater numbers of people with quality content and providing a wide variety of mechanisms for learning. AT&T’s support is a critical piece to this puzzle and the Foundation looks forward to collaborating with the organization to make these ideas a reality.
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.