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QR codes make plant identification easier at Cincinnati parks

The Cincinnati Park Board is arming its visitors with information. A pilot project is underway at Ault Park and Krohn Conservatory using smart phone quick response technology.

Ault Park horticulturist Dave Roberts is in demand. Plenty of park visitors seek him out to ask questions about what they are seeing.

"You know, what's in bloom, what this plant is and can I collect the seeds and can I do this in my garden and will it take over everything?"

Roberts may get fewer questions now that the Cincinnati Park Board has entered into a partnership with Quip TV, a QR code catalyst company. On a walk around Ault Parkif you scan the code with your smart phone you will hear a description of the flower or trees.

A thirty second video describes the plant and whether or not it will work in your yard. Quip TV co-founder Kris Kubicki.

"What we really wanted to do was to reach people in unexpected places. People who want information. A lot of people were out in the park enjoying nature, getting a little curious about something that they see that's beneficial and they'll be able to scan the QR code. It's quick response technology. And they will get instant information about that."

So far the response has been good according to Park Regional Manager Jennifer Harten. The trick is keeping up with the codes as plants change with the seasons.

"The tree collection that we have, trees for your yard arboretum, are the ones that first got QR codes and then we also added perennials that have QR codes on them also in the old rose garden."

Krohn Conservatoryis also participating in the pilot. Codes will be in place by by the start of the holiday show.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.