Free Wi-Fi makes Cascades Tallahassee’s first ‘smart park’

By Sean Sanders
Outlook Writer

Joggers will have access to streaming music.

The business person who wants to checking emails while on a lunch break area will be able to do so with ease.

Gamers will even be able to play Pokémon Go without connectivity issues.

All thanks to the City of Tallahassee adding free Wi-Fi to Cascades Park. Anyone inside the park can access it by going on a mobile devices Wi-Fi setting and clicking on “Tal-Gov Wi-Fi.”

The city also plans to provide free Wi-Fi to FAMU Way, Gaines Street, and Lake Ella.

“It really is going to add to what is already a beautiful park,” said Anthony Smith. “While people already come to the park to do their daily activities, now they don’t have to worry about running up their data.”

Commissioner Scott Maddox, who played an avid role in the expansion of the city’s parks, expressed the same sentiment. It will be a great way to allow people to embrace technology and nature at the same time,” Scott said.

Alison Faris, the city’s communications director, hopes that the latest advancement attracts more people to the park for unconventional reasons.

“It being a smart park can now make it available to not only ordinary citizens but now more students and business owners,” said Faris.

The infrastructure to offer such services at Cascades Park has been in place since the park re-opened in 2014.

It costs about $200 a month to keep the free service operating. Mayor Andrew Gillum has dubbed the addition of internet access as the “Crown Jewel of Tallahassee.”

Last week, “Pokémon Go in the park,” the city’s first event advertising the free WI-FI at the park attracted more than 2,000 participants. Other similar events are in the works for the park.