McCrory Gardens launches app

SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — McCrory Gardens recently released a new interactive learning tool, the McCrory Gardens Explorer App. The mobile and web application was launched at the Third Thursday at the Gardens event on Jan. 18.

Made possible through a 3M Eco Grant, the user-friendly resource is an Internet application that provides the public with access to information about the gardens. Users can find plants, locate dedicated items, discover what plants are in bloom, and use an interactive map to explore the gardens or create a personalized tour. The app also links to reputable outside sources for more information.

“This app goes right along with our mission of connecting people and plants,” said Christina Lind-Thielke, assistant gardener and education coordinator. “It supplements our educational programming and is a way to further connect youth with the garden.”

So far information and GPS locations of 6,693 individual plants, representing 1,493 different types of trees, shrubs and perennials, is available. There are many more plants in the garden so information, locations and photos of plants will continually be added to the app.

The grant also funded a free education festival in spring 2017, transportation sponsorships for schools to facilitate field trips and 10 tablets that can be checked out from the front desk and used in the gardens.

McCrory Gardens is maintained by professional staff under the authority of South Dakota State University, with more than 25 acres of gardens and 45 acres of arboretum. The gardens are funded primarily by donations from the Friends of McCrory Gardens, admission fees, other special gifts, and endowment returns.

The app can be found at mccrorygardensexplorer.sdstate.edu.