The Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens is a true hidden gem of the country and it has always been known for a couple of things including being a perfect backdrop for wedding photos, a site for photography enthusiasts who have a special liking for rare plants and gorgeous blooms, their awesome French and Scottish and Japanese gardens, their unique Wishing Well, extensive and beautifully decorated Koi pond…just to name a few. While the locals would head over on some evenings to enjoy the calming and comfortable atmosphere, the regular daily events seems to be a rather huge magnet as well. New plantings is an ongoing thing and the garden changes along with the season…completely awesome in every way possible.
But we are not here to talk about the garden although it is absolutely breathtaking. Word has it that the three hundred odd volunteers who regularly work on the gardening projects in this tourist attractions (they call themselves Grumpies and Grumpettes, we are very sure there is a good reason behind the name) have decided to include QR Codes in the gardens.
The Executive Director of the garden, Mary Fanning-Penny have gone on to explain, in an interview, that the QR Codes’ aim is to embrace the new technology that has recently taken the west by storm, as a tool to enhance communication with their visitors. This is the right move in the right direction because many of their visitors now come armed with a smartphone or at least one device that is capable of connecting to the internet.
Another good reason for the inclusion of the QR Code would be the fact that not all of their guests take the guided tour path. Yes, the gardens’ management do offer guided tours where the guides will take the guests around the garden and explain what some of the plants are and where to find specific flowers and where they are from…but that is not for everyone. Even regular visitors do not take the time to really learn more about new species and plants introduced at the gardens but with a QR Code, perchance they are curious, they would be just a short QR Code scan away from ‘information’.
According to the authorities, the QR Codes leads smartphone users to specific pages on the internet. For instance, the QR Code sign at the Sunken Garden will take users to a wedding page on the garden’s official website while the one at Cottage Garden leads them to their annual holiday light show page.
While the choice of where the QR Code links to is debatable (we hope the pages are mobile-friendly), we think this can only be seen as the community and authority’s effort in enhancing communication between the authorities and visitors of the garden.
We hope there is more to come from Janesville’s Rotary Botanical Gardens.
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