With the support of Edison International, 11 partners including the City of LA, LA County, the U.S. Forest Service, Cal State Parks, Western National Parks Association, Santa Rosa Plateau, the City of Carson, Riverside County Parks, Bureau of Land Management, California State Parks, City of Long Beach, and Rancho Palos Verdes have joined forces in an initiative to encourage kids to explore parks and nature. Titled the SoCal Explorer 2.0 Campaign, these 11 partners today announce their use of Agents of Discovery®, an educational technology platform that enables interpreters to create their own augmented reality games.
The SoCal Explorer 2.0 Campaign starts November 14 and includes incentives for young explorers, or “Agents.” Kids and their families can participate in the campaign by downloading the Agents of Discovery mobile app to access free “Missions” (games) at each of the participating sites. Missions are completed by solving educational “Challenges” (questions) created by the site’s interpreters in order to learn about local ecosystems, culture, and history. At LA’s Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, for example, kids can learn about the diversity of birds in the area and the park’s role in maintaining clean water.
“We are so excited to be part of SoCal Explorer 2.0, said Jeran Bogle, Senior Recreation Director, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. “The inaugural SoCal Explorer Campaign was widely popular at our parks and with our programs. We are looking forward to seeing the momentum build this year!”
When an Agent completes a Mission, they receive a digital and an embroidered, physical badge specific to that site. Once three Missions are completed, an Agent will receive the Explorer Badge, and once six Missions are completed, they will earn the Advanced Explorer badge. With 12 Missions completed, kids will earn the Super SoCal Explorer Badge. Agents will also be entered to win grand prizes.
“The Agents of Discovery learning platform is a valuable asset to Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation,” said Kim Bosell, Natural Areas Administrator. “It’s an innovative way to encourage children to play, discover and connect with the natural world around them. It also allows us to reach, educate and spread our conservation message to the kids of Generation Z, who rely heavily on their devices.”
Participating parks include: Vogel Flats, Grassy Hollows, Chilao, El Cariso, San Juan Loop trails, Eaton Canyon, Stoneview, Kenneth Hahn, Whittier Narrows, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Santa Rosa Plateau, Reseda Park, Echo Park Lake, Griffith Park, South LA Wetlands, Hansen Dam, Cabrillo Beach, Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, MacArthur Park, Whitepoint Nature Center and Preserve, Los Angeles City Hall, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, Sand to Snow National Monument, Lake Perris Recreation Area, Willow Springs Park, Deforest Wetlands, City of Carson.
To download the Agents of Discovery app, go to Google Play or the App Store. Once downloaded, find the participating park’s Mission within the app and download it before you head out to the park. No data or WiFi is required to play the Mission once it has been downloaded.
About Agents of Discovery
Agents of Discovery, winner of the 2016 Best App-Based Game at the European Conference on Game Based Learning, is an innovative educational tech platform that utilizes web, mobile and the latest in augmented reality technologies to get kids active and learning about the world around them. Agents of Discovery provides educators with a unique way to gamify information, incentivizing kids to be active while learning and exploring. The easy-to-use Mission Maker allows educators to pull challenges from their extensive Agency Library or to create customized content specific to their site. Educators can then easily publish Missions for kids to complete on tablets or their own smart devices. For more information, please visit www.agentsofdiscovery.com
About City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks maintains over 16,000 acres of parkland with over 430 neighborhood and regional parks, 184 recreation centers and facilities, 368 children’s play areas, 321 tennis courts, 256 ball fields, 31 senior centers, 13 golf courses, nine dog parks, 24 skate parks, 61 swimming pools, 12 museums and an urban forest of one million trees and 92 miles of hiking trails. The Department also provides after school enrichment programs for children and teens including music, dance, and athletic programs. For more information about the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, please visit www.laparks.org.
About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.
About Bureau of Land Management
The BLM is our nation’s largest land steward and oversees more than 245 million acres of Public Lands- 13% of the nation’s land area. In California, nearly two thirds of these Public Lands are part of the the National Conservation Lands system. These treasured landscapes have nationally significant values that are managed for the benefit of current and future generations. Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains and Sand to Snow National Monuments are home to magnificent desert oases, snow-capped mountains and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail.
About Western National Parks Association
A nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service, Western National Parks Association (WNPA) supports 71 park partners across the West, developing products, services, and programs that enrich the visitor experience. Since 1938 WNPA has worked to connect new generations to parks in meaningful ways, all with one simple goal: create advocates who want to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time. To learn more, visit www.wnpa.org.
About the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
The Department provides the residents and visitors of Los Angeles County with quality recreational opportunities that promote a healthy lifestyle and strengthen the community through diverse physical, educational and cultural programming. The Department also enhances the community environment by acquiring, developing and maintaining 182 County parks including 4 gardens, the largest municipal golf course system with 20 courses at 18 locations, multi-use trails, open space areas and more.
About Long Beach Parks, Recreation And Marine
Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine serves a diverse community of over 462,000 residents. Programs and services are offered at 170 parks with 26 community centers, two historic sites, two major tennis centers, one of the busiest municipal golf systems in the country with five courses, the Long Beach Animal Care Services Bureau, the largest municipally operated marina system in the nation with 3,100 boat slips, and six miles of beaches. More than 3,100 acres within the City’s 50 square miles are developed for recreation. The Department offers recreation programs from arts and cultural, sports and fitness, and enrichment subjects for all ages from preschool to senior citizen. More than 2800 recreational and educational classes are offered each year. The Department is a four-time recipient of the National Parks and Recreation Society’s “Gold Medal” award for outstanding management practices and programs. For more information about Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine, please visit www.longbeach.gov/park.
About Angeles National Forest
The Angeles National Forest is home to more than 70% of the open space available to the greater Los Angeles community,” stated Forest Supervisor Jerry Perez. “We are excited to be a part of this campaign, using innovative technology and collaboration across many public agencies, to connect young people and their families to the outdoors in a fun and educational way that is sure to pay dividends for many years to come.