New Trail Signage for Feeder Road & Swallow Hollow

Have you seen these types of signs? These have QR codes on them - aim your phone's camera at them to open a webpage that plays the audio tour. Photo by Celeste Morien
Have you seen these types of signs? These have QR codes on them – aim your phone’s camera at them to open a webpage that plays the audio tour. Photo by Celeste Morien

Historically, the Friends of Iroquois, Inc. have had the pleasure of partnering with Iroquois National Refuge by funding the Guide by Cell program for Swallow Hollow Trail and funding the interpretive panels at Swallow Hollow and Kanyoo Trails.  The Guide by Cell program allowed users to call in to a posted phone number for information on stops of interest along Swallow Hollow Trail.  Back in 2017, the temporary Guide by Cell signage on Swallow Hollow Trail started to look worn out. Because of that, efforts began to replace those signs and along with that effort, create new signs for the Feeder Road Trail. 

The audio tour signs are placed at places of scenic, historical, or informational points of interest. Photo by Celeste Morien
The audio tour signs are placed at places of scenic, historical, or informational points of interest. Photo by Celeste Morien

The decision to install new signage on Feeder Road allowed the Friends and the Refuge to again engage the Canisius College Biology Department to create a script for Feeder Road, similar to that which the college had developed for Swallow Hollow Trail. For Feeder Road Trail, senior Environmental Studies student Olivia Yavorek visited Iroquois and met with Refuge Biologist Paul Hess to view Feeder Road and learn of the pertinent educational principles for each stop along the road. Olivia’s well written script was then shared with the Refuge and the Friends for editing, before signs were ordered.

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The audio tour signs are placed at places of scenic, historical, or informational points of interest. Photo by Celeste Morien
The audio tour signs are placed at points of biological, scenic, historical, or informational interest. Photo by Celeste Morien

Because of wider ownership of smartphones, with pewresearch.org reporting a dramatic increase over the past decade – from 35% in 2011 to 81% in 2019, as the share of Americans who now own a smartphone – FINWR decided to discontinue Guide by Cell. For those with smartphones, simply aim your camera at the QR code on each sign to listen! Feeder Road has ten stops and Swallow Hollow has thirteen stops. If you don’t own a smartphone, the Feeder Road script and the Swallow Hollow Trail script are also both available at no cost online at FINWR.org for audio download or printing.

Most modern cell phones only need the camera app to be able to scan QR codes. Open the camera. Aim at the code. Easy as that!

The Friends and the Refuge are confident you will enjoy listening to the educational messages at each stop while you visit Feeder Road and Swallow Hollow. In the future, with your support, similar signage will be added on other refuge trails. Check out how beautiful these new signs look on your next visit to Iroquois NWR!

On Feeder Road, you can even take the audio tour without leaving your car! Photo by Celeste Morien
On Feeder Road, you can even take the audio tour without leaving your car! Photo by Celeste Morien