Youth to map, restore trails: Measure A money to fund conservation efforts

Bill Silverfarb
The Daily Journal
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

High school students will restore and survey park trails in the coming year and use new technology to develop interactive maps of San Mateo County’s parks system.

The Board of Supervisors is set to allocate more than $470,000 in two grants toward the initiative at its Tuesday meeting.

The board will vote on whether to authorize County Parks Director Marlene Finley to enter into an agreement with the Student Conservation Association to provide conservation crews through next summer and a Geographic Information System (GIS) Program that will provide trail condition mapping and monitor invasive species.

The Student Conservation Association is a nonprofit agency that protects and restores national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and green spaces in all 50 states.

A mix of college students and young adults will lead about 100 high school students who are expected to enroll in the program, Finley said Monday.

The students will also perform work on Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District lands as well, Finley said.

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, Finley said.

The maps could be used for a variety of reasons including for search and rescue crews, she said.

The two Measure A grants are the first of six the parks department has prioritized for a total of $2.6 million over the next two years.

Student Conservation Association crews will provide close to 7,000 volunteer hours to help restore about 2,100 linear feet of trails through the $341,000 conservation crew grant.