Hiawatha National Forest Hosts New Educational Mobile Game: “Grand Island Ranger”

Release Date: Jul 31, 2019

Map of Grand Island AOD MissionGladstone, MI -- Visitors to Hiawatha National Forest will soon have yet another great reason to get outside and explore the forest. On July 4th, 2019, an award winning mobile gaming application set ashore on Hiawatha National Forest’s Grand Island National Recreation Area at Murray Bay Day-Use Area and Campground near Munising, MI. 

The Agents of Discovery® Hiawatha National Forest – Grand Island Ranger Mission is a free mobile game application that allows users to unlock hidden geo-challenges with their tablet or smartphone. Players (Agents) are given a mission that is individual to each site – in this case, Murray Bay on Grand Island National Recreation Area -- and, using the geo-location on their phones, are guided through a series of challenges, questions and learning activities that reveal what is special about the environment around them. This is the third AOD mission on Hiawatha National Forest; others focus on Point Iroquois Light Station and the Monarchs of Peninsula Point.

The game is designed for ages six to 12 years and for families looking for fun activities they can do together. The Forest Service, American Recreation Coalition and Agents of Discovery have partnered since 2016 to bring educational, movement-based interactive gaming opportunities to national forest sites across the country. 

“Using game-based learning, future Rangers will discover what it takes to protect Hiawatha National Forest’s Grand Island National Recreation Area; and hopefully they will have a bit of fun while they’re at it!” says Sean O’Donnell, Hiawatha National Forest Lighthouse Program Specialist. 

Using the mobile game requires a little pre-planning, since there is no Wi-Fi on the Island. The mobile game will be available to visitors who download both the app and the mission at home (or someplace with Wi-Fi) before heading to Grand Island National Recreation Area.

"It's possible to download the mission on site at Murray Bay, but that requires use of data," said O'Donnell. An internet connection is not needed to play the downloaded game. The Grand Island Ranger mission is available for download now. For updates check out our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HiawathaLighthouses.

For more information about the recreation opportunities and lighthouses in Hiawatha National Forest, visit our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/hiawatha. To learn more about this Hiawatha National Forest mobile media project, contact sean.m.odonnell@usda.gov. 

About the U.S. Forest Service 
The U.S. Forest Service is an agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as such is part of the federal government’s executive branch. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. 

The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world. National Forest System lands provide 20 percent of America’s drinking water. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.

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