The Scarborough Public Library is delighted to announce a collaborative project between the library, Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh and Scarborough Land Trust.
The goal of the project is to create a virtual and educational tour of the Nonesuch River, which begins just outside of Scarborough and winds through the city before connecting to other rivers through the Scarborough Marsh and up to ‘at the Gulf of Maine.
“The Nonesuch River plays an oversized and undervalued role in shaping the city of Scarborough,” according to a volunteer and community donor who wishes to remain anonymous. “It divides the community into separate, independent sections, provides habitat for many animal species, and offers many recreational opportunities.”
Project managers envision this as a community science effort, with the library serving as a central institution helping guide the effort while providing the tools and training necessary for participants to build the virtual tour. “We see the public library as the ideal institution to coordinate this type of effort, allowing nonprofits like ours to participate when we don’t necessarily have the staff, public space or the means to. tackling this type of project on our own, ”says Peggy Pennoyer, Friends of Scarborough Marsh board member.
Scarborough Public Schools are also interested in participating. “This project provides our students with the opportunity to engage in authentic learning about the community, with the community, and to give back to the community,” noted Monique Culbertson, Director of Curriculum and Assessment. “It’s really unique and quite exciting. I can imagine that all grade levels of our students engage in various ways and in multiple areas, including and beyond science.
Funded largely by donations, the library has created a “GoPro Adventure Pack” that project participants can borrow to record high-quality 360-degree videos and footage of the river and surrounding wildlife. The pack also includes the necessary accessories to securely attach the GoPro Max camera to bikes, canoes, cars and paddleboards.
The library also provides access to the cloud platform that hosts the virtual tour and allows other nonprofits to embed the tour (or elements thereof) into their own websites, even with their own brand image. The platform for the tour is called ThingLink, created by a Finnish company, which has generously reduced subscription costs for the professional version and even more generously allowed the library to share the platform with others. non-profit entities in our community as part of this and possibly future projects.
Also funded primarily by donations, the library has installed a high-quality interactive digital signage that provides interactive access to the virtual tour, as well as displays of other community art projects and notices of library events.
Interested in learning more and volunteering your skills and time? You can see a prototype of the virtual tour on digital signage at the library or on their website at https://www.scarboroughlibrary.org/nonesuchrivertour. Contact Tom Corbett at[email protected]to find out how you can participate.