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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Wonders of the Waite Arboretum revealed with new app

A new free mobile app promises to make the wonders of the University of Adelaide’s Waite Arboretum more accessible than ever before.

The Waite Arboretum, at the University’s Waite campus at Urrbrae, is a living tree museum and repository for species now considered rare and endangered in the wild.

“We are excited to share the University’s botanical treasure with a broader audience using the latest technology,” says Arboretum Curator Dr Jennifer Gardner.

The new app contains information on all 2300 tree specimens in the Arboretum and features an interactive map, allowing visitors to search and locate their favourite trees. The map will also allow users to track their GPS positions within the Arboretum and discover information about trees in their immediate area.

“The app provides visitors with everything they need to enhance their experience in the Arboretum. This includes opening times, details of the facilities, history, bird watching and wildlife information, features of interest and upcoming events.

“It’s more than just a simple guide to the Arboretum. Visitors can choose from a list of themed walks such as Trees of the Mediterranean or Out of Africa, and use the app as their guide,” Dr Gardner says.

The University of Adelaide is the only university in Australia to have a dedicated Arboretum. The Arboretum was established on land given to the University by Peter Waite for the enjoyment of the public. It is open every day of the year from dawn till dusk, except on days of high fire danger.

The first trees were planted in 1928 and the Arboretum now occupies 30 hectares of land and features more than 800 species of trees. Every tree is labelled and mapped, and the special collection includes eucalypts, dragon trees, pears and oaks. Trees are grown without supplementary watering to demonstrate their performance in local conditions.

“The Arboretum is a valuable resource for research and teaching. However, we also want to use this app to engage with the wider community – including young families – and enrich their experience and enjoyment of this unique space too,” Dr Gardner says.

The new app is free to download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play. [Full Story]

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