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Garden technology helps visitors

Technology provides botanical gardens with new ways to help groups get the most from a visit.

“Something our group tourism department does that is a bit outside of the box is a PowerPoint tour,” said Karen Hill, public information officer for the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. “For our groups with mixed abilities, we offer a detailed, on-screen presentation in one of the classrooms of our Ridgway Visitor Center.

“It lets them see photos and information about all areas of the garden in a variety of seasons and covers areas that the tram tour can’t. The cost for this is $5 per person in addition to garden admission; plus, there is a room set-up fee.

“Groups can call our tourism department at 800-332-1286 to inquire about it.”

The Denver Botanical Gardens has a new Garden Navigator online tool that allows groups to construct a personalized tour.

“For example, a hosta society from Minnesota could construct a tour with the most common groupings of hostas,” said Matthew Cole, director of education. “It can be a really powerful tool for a group that doesn’t want a guide or expert, or [for] a group with its own expertise.”

The Garden Navigator can be accessed at