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Press release from Business Wire

Nature Valley® Launches First Ever Street-View Style National Parks Experience; Expands its Commitment to Preserving the Parks and Inspiring Exploration

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Leading Granola Bar Company to Unveil New Technology during SXSWi</i> </p>

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Nature Valley® Launches First Ever Street-View Style National Parks Experience; Expands its Commitment to Preserving the Parks and Inspiring Exploration08:30 EST Thursday, March 08, 2012 MINNEAPOLIS (Business Wire) -- Today, Nature Valley expands its commitment to preserving America's national parks through an unprecedented digital platform that encourages outdoor exploration and education – uniting the brand's heritage with cutting-edge technology. Called Nature Valley Trail View (#TrailView), the first-of-its-kind platform brings together 300-plus miles of immersive national parks content through panoramic views and interactive guides to three of our most iconic parks – Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone. Master cameraman, Brandon McClain, digitally captured and documented all three national parks for the Nature Valley Trail View platform using a 360-degree backpack camera. (Photo: Mat Bisher, McCann Erickson) More than a year in the making, Nature Valley Trail View is the result of boots-on-the-ground fieldwork and proprietary technology. Starting today, nature lovers everywhere can log-on to NatureValleyTrailView.com to enjoy hundreds of miles of virtual hiking, interactive experience and rich visuals across three national parks. Using geo location, the experience is annotated at specific points to offer in-depth parks information for trip planners, including key points of interest and notable trail markers. On March 11, Nature Valley is showcasing the new technology at the internationally recognized South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive (SXSWi) Conference and Festival, specifically at the Mashable SXSWi House (#MashSXSW) in Austin, Texas. “The Nature Valley Trail View experience is unprecedented,” said master cameraman, Brandon McClain, who experienced the journey firsthand. “Digitally capturing and documenting national park trails was not easy, but was very rewarding. Our efforts helped create a singular parks experience that extends the best of nature to people everywhere, regardless of location.” A Look at Nature Valley Trail View The platform represents many firsts, not just for the brand, but also for street-view style technology and the national parks, including: The first large-scale application of experiential, street-view style camera technology to the national parks The first time a team used video to capture every step taken over 300 hundred miles of trails to create an exploratory parks experience The first time footage from a 360-degree backpack camera has been overlaid with in-depth parks information to encourage exploration and education The end result is more than 300 miles of park trails – stitched together from a 360-degree camera's eleven lenses for one immersive view. A team of up to eight individuals hit the trails for nearly two months – eight to ten hours per day for an average of six to thirteen miles of trails, with various degrees of difficulty. Bringing Nature Valley Trail View to life was a collective effort involving agency partners McCann Erickson New York, InTheMO, Your Majesty and editors from Backpacker Magazine, who helped guide trail explorations. “As a brand that loves the outdoors, Nature Valley's goal is to inspire consumers to enjoy all that nature has to offer, especially our national parks,” said Scott Baldwin, senior marketing manager for Nature Valley. “Our vision for Nature Valley Trail View is to get people interested in visiting, and even preserving, our beautiful national parks. Through ongoing exploration by users, we hope that the technology will continue to evolve, educate and excite people.” Nature Valley and the National Parks Nature Valley is a long-standing supporter of the physical preservation of America's parks, through its “Preserve the Parks” program. Preserve the Parks, which launched in April of 2010, supports the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), and is designed to encourage Americans to get outside and visit the parks, while raising funds for their preservation. Specifically, the program has funded restoration projects near several of our nation's parks, including: Acadia, Biscayne, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, Joshua Tree and Yellowstone. In 2012, projects near Everglades National Park will also benefit from the program. During National Parks Week, April 21 – 29, parks fans can visit the Nature Valley Facebook page to “Like” posts about Nature Valley Trail View and in the process, help support NPCA restoration projects. For each Facebook “Like” during this time period, Nature Valley will donate $1 to the NPCA, up to $50,000. For more information: www.Facebook.com/NatureValley, twitter.com/nature_valley. About Nature Valley® Nature Valley created the granola bar category in 1975 and brings great taste to active consumers looking for wholesome snacks. Nature Valley offers eight great-tasting granola snacks: Crunch Granola Bars, Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars, Chewy Trail Mix Bars, Granola Thins, Yogurt Granola Bars, Roasted Nut Crunch Bars, Granola Nut Clusters and Protein Bars. In addition to supporting the National Parks Conservation Association, Nature Valley is the Official Natural Granola Bar of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour, the United States Ski and Snowboarding Association, Nature Valley NASTAR, Cross Country Ski Areas Association, Vail Resorts and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. In addition, Nature Valley is the title sponsor of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50193242&lang=en General MillsLisa Tomassen, 763-293-2761lisa.tomassen@genmills.comorCone CommunicationsJessica Anselmi, 617-939-8318janselmi@coneinc.com