State Parks: Best Web Site Ever for Recreation Seekers

3D Interactive Maps, High-Resolution Aerial Images and More Largest Detailed Inventory in the U.S. – A National Model

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 7, 2010)

Contact: Roy Stearns, State Parks (916) 654-7538 or Larry Orman, GreenInfo (415) 979-0343 x302

California State Parks and GreenInfo Network have created a web portal that makes it dramatically easier for the public to find and get to any kind of open-space and recreational lands in the Golden State. The FindRecreation web site contains data on everything from federal wilderness areas to neighborhood tot lots, with interactive maps and searching.

“We designed FindRecreation to enable people to find parks near home,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks. “We hope Californians will discover the natural wonders of this state, have fun, get some exercise and feel better.”

Here’s how it works. Go to www.findrecreation.parks.ca.gov. Enter a home address, city or zip code and the site will display a detailed street map or aerial image of every

recreational opportunity in the area. By clicking on a particular site, the user can learn more, and get transit or driving directions directly to it. View any site in an interactive 3D map, using Google Earth technology and high-resolution imagery from Microsoft Bing maps. For many areas, the site will show available trails (a forthcoming version will also show parking sites, restrooms and viewpoint outlooks). After that, it is all up to the user to get packed and get going.

“The FindRecreation web gateway is unique in the United States,” said Larry Orman, Executive Director of the not-for-profit GreenInfo Network, the site’s creator. “It combines state-of-the-art web mapping and searches with a comprehensive inventory of public parks and recreation areas.”

In addition to parks, Find Recreation also shows the detailed location of over 1,300 public campgrounds in California. Hikers and backpackers can combine FindRecreation’s 3D map views with camp locations and trails to help plan simple walks or multi-day outings.

The park and open space areas shown in FindRecreation are part of the California Protected Areas Database (CPAD), a GIS inventory created by GreenInfo Network. CPAD has data on over 15,000 named parks in the state, totaling over 49 million acres and owned by 860 different public agencies and non-governmental organizations. CPAD is the most comprehensive open space inventory ever created for California and is the largest detailed inventory of its kind in the nation (more at www.CALands.org).

Additional Health Benefit for Californians

The benefits to the public from the FindRecreation website go beyond vacation planning. “We should think of our public parks as a valuable health resource. Spending time in nature, to walk, bike or simply sit and breath in fresh air, can have tremendous health benefits,” said Dr. Daphne Miller, MD State Parks and GreenInfo Network worked together to leverage their funding with other interested parties to complete the project for the entire state. GreenInfo Network maintains both FindRecreation and the CPAD database, in collaboration with State Parks and other agencies.

The complete list of agencies that have financially contributed to the CPAD effort include: California State Parks, California State Coastal Conservancy, The Bay Area Open Space Council, The Resources Legacy Fund, the California Council of Land Trusts, CAL Fire, The Sierra Nevada Conservancy, The California Endowment, The Annenberg Foundation, the Great Valley Center, and the UC Davis Information Center for the Environment/Great Places Program. FindRecreation was created by GreenInfo Network (www.greeninfo.org) based on its ParkInfo.org parks and open space search engine. This same web-based open space search capacity can also be used by other agencies and organizations. For more information contact GreenInfo Network (parkinfo@greeninfo.org).

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