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Smart phone app turns a Laurier Woods fungus into a radio show host

'This is an intimate radio experience, one that will leave you thinking humans have more in common with trees than you ever thought possible'
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Forest Talk Radio logo
Forest Talk Radio

Here's something neat!

You'll soon be able to use your smartphone to experience a unique blend of storytelling, science, and environmental education, while you walk the orange and white trails at Laurier Woods Conservation Area.

The launch of Forest Talk Radio, kicks off Saturday morning, May 25 at 9:45.

“This is an intimate radio experience, one that will leave you thinking humans have more in common with trees than you ever thought possible,” says David Merleau, the media artist, performance storyteller and audio documentary producer who created the Forest Talk app.

With site-specific data collected from the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA), and inspiration from Fred Pinto, an internationally recognized forester and president of Friends of the Laurier Woods, the smartphone app turns a fungus into a radio show host who uses a storytelling format to share information about the tree ecology in Laurier Woods.

“Storytelling and forests are part of many cultural traditions around the globe,".said Sue Buckle, Manager of Communications. "The Forest Talk Radio application is a fun and creative way to experience the natural heritage of Laurier Woods. It’s a new way to explore and learn, thanks to David Merleau whose passion for the woods and his craft create an amazing experience for us all.”

When hikers enter Laurier Woods at the Brule Street trailhead, they can download the application for their iPhone using a QR code on a sign posted at the trailhead or through Google Play if they have an android phone. From there, the application picks up the signal using GPS and smartphone technology. 

The walk takes about an hour. 

Forest Talk Radio is a project supported by North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, Friends of Laurier Woods, Near North Mobile Media Lab, Chrisdanat Management Ltd.,  and funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

More information is available here.




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Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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