Volunteer Spotlight

Chris Crowell

Explore Wekiwa App

Long-Term Project Award for Resource-Based Recreation

Chris Crowell, a hiker, bicyclist and professional application developer, spent 375 hours developing the Explore Wekiwa app for Wekiwa Springs State Park and the Wekiva Wilderness Trust. Debbie Salamone, a Wekiwa Springs volunteer and professional writer, contributed over 30 hours to write the interpretive content about plants, trees and fish. Don Philpott contributed time to reviewing app content, providing historical content, attending meetings, and gaining support/funding from Wekiva Wilderness Trust and REI.

Chris designed, developed and deployed an Android and iOS app that provides multi-media interpretive information to park visitors. It acts as an interpretive guide and trail map, allowing visitors to navigate and learn about park resources with ease. He also developed a content management system for park/district staff to create and edit content for the app. The Wekiva Wilderness Trust contributed funds to design the app icon, collaborated with REI to get funding for the QR code trail labels/selfie stations, and created awareness for the app on their social media channels.

The app launched in summer 2020 and is available for download under the name Interpret Wekiwa. In 2021, the name will change to Explore Wekiwa and the app will get a new icon and more content. The trail labels also will be used as "selfie stands," which will encourage visitors to post photos of themselves on social media to promote the park and it resource-based recreational opportunities. 

2020 Florida State Parks Volunteer Recognition Award Winner

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