Douglas Park Community School Grade 3 students listen as Langley City head gardener Aaron Billard holds up his smartphone which is playing an audio recording detailing information about the tropical plants in Sendall Garden’s greenhouse.

Douglas Park Community School Grade 3 students listen as Langley City head gardener Aaron Billard holds up his smartphone which is playing an audio recording detailing information about the tropical plants in Sendall Garden’s greenhouse.

City launches smartphone tour of Sendall greenhouse

Trail Talker app provides info on the 14 species of tropical plants that are on display

“Begin a journey around the world,” says the voice of Langley City’s head gardener Aaron Billard through the speaker of a smartphone.

Billard’s voice is heard in Langley City’s newest technology,  launched earlier this month, offering a portable audio tour of Sendall Gardens greenhouse   through people’s cellphones.

Grade 3 Douglas Park Community School students were the first to try out the experience, scanning a smartphone over the Quick Response bar code set up at each plant or tree, setting off a voice that describes the history and facts about each plant.

“This is the generation that utilizes this technology. When I asked them if they knew how to use a bar code on a smart phone, I couldn’t believe most of them did,” said City parks manager Len Walters.

He admits that up until four months ago, he didn’t really know what an app was.

“This really was a great way for us to highlight the information the Friends of Sendall Gardens had gathered on each of the tropical plants,” said Walters.

Even though the technology was slow to work for some users, including the mayor, the kinks appear to have been worked out. The Trail Talker application is available to smartphone users providing information about the 14 exotic plant species grown inside the building located inside the public gardens just off 50 Avenue.

Mike Hamel of Trail Talker Information Systems Inc. created the audio tour and modeled it on a similar trail tour in Chilliwack.

The cost to the City for the service is $5,000 per year.

However, half of that amount will be covered by the Friends of Sendall Gardens Greenhouse.