CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS UPDATED STATE PARKS APP FOR
PART OF CONTINUING EFFORT TO ENHANCE VISITOR EXPERIENCE TO THE STATE’S
EXPANSIVE NATURAL SPACES
(14/P70) TRENTON – As part of the Christie Administration’s continuing effort to enhance the experience of state residents and tourists who visit our state parks, forests and historic sites, the Department of Environmental Protection today announced upgrades to a smartphone application aimed to help visitors make the most out of their trips to New Jersey’s natural and historic areas.
Upgrades to the free “Pocket Ranger®” application include a new user interface and home screen design that uses photos and other image-based material to navigate through the system, extensive photo galleries on park description pages, and a new “Explore” feature that adds a 4-in-1 feature for visitors to explore parks by location, activities, category, and site name in one search.
This new version of the application, created by ParksByNature Network™ in partnership with DEP, is currently available for iPhones, Androids and Kindle Fires. The applications can be downloaded at www.StateParkApps.com
”We made these upgrades based on our visitors’ feedback,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources Richard Boornazian. “More than 18 million people visit our state parks each year. This application will help people plan their visits to our wonderful parks, forests and historic sites and make decisions about what to see and do once they get there.”
Launched in January 2012, more than 78,000 users have downloaded the Parks Ranger app. In addition to the upgrades, users will be able to have access to educational information, amenities, maps and directions; real-time calendar of events; news, advisories, and weather alerts; social networking and photo/video sharing; potentially life-saving alert feature; GPS tours; advanced GPS mapping features; record trail distance and time elapsed; mark photo waypoints; recall, post or share saved data; access “Friend Finder” and navigate with a built-in compass.
Governor Christie released the Administration’s long-term strategy for keeping New Jersey’s parks open, affordable and even more accessible in November 2011. The plan establishes a model for parks to generate revenues to make them more self-sustaining while making the park experience more rewarding for millions of visitors by improving visitor services, amenities and activities.
Statewide, DEP maintains and operates 39 state parks, 3 recreation areas, 11 forests, 3 marinas, 52 historic sites, while managing more than 815,000 acres of parkland and wildlife areas for the benefit of present and future generations. The park system also boasts more than 1,000 miles of hiking and riding trails and 10 miles of ocean beaches.
New Jersey is the ninth state to make the mobile tour guide application available to the public. There are currently 24 states participating with Pocket Ranger®.