For six years now, youth in San Mateo County have worked to carve out trails and remove invasive species over hundreds of acres of county parkland.
It’s a partnership between the Student Conservation Association and the parks department that will also lead to the creation of interactive maps put together by local high school students.
The summer session ended last week with some crews working on trail maintenance, removing invasive plants and park maintenance while others used iPads and geographic information system (GIS) technology to inventory natural resources within the parks.
The mapping technology will also allow visitors to one day use a smartphone app to navigate the parks to view all the trails and find the nearest bench, campsite or restroom.
Intern Hannah Ormshaw worked to develop and implement a new natural resources database for all the parks — she does the technical computer-based work to design and maintain the resource database.
She also trains the resource inventory crews in the use of iPads, inventory protocol and how to use the mapping software.
A GIS team mapped trails, intersections, trail signs (or lack thereof), points of interest, repair needs, bridges, water damage and general trail condition in county parks, according to Louis.
The survey work will be uploaded to the county’s Open Data Portal so anyone can access the information and develop unique apps related to the county’s parks.