Access to the Great Outdoors for All

A TRAILSNext™ presentation

Using the power of GIS mapping to strategically target development of recreation access and new land protection opportunities to address gap areas.

by Emmalee Dolfi, GIS Senior Project Manager, The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land seeks to create ready and equitable access to trails, parks, and open space for everyone across the country. The ParkServe platform and Access Impact Mapping (AIM) tools provide data to address issues around equitable access to these assets in cities and towns nationwide. The ParkServe platform provides users with nearly 130,000 park locations in roughly 14,000 municipalities around the country, with the ability to analyze current 10-minute walk access to those parks. Users can determine where future parks will provide the service to neighborhoods most in need.

AIM prioritizes the protection of new public lands and encourages recreational access improvements around the country by addressing broad recreation access needs and public lands access opportunities outside city limits. Using the power of Geographic Information System mapping, AIM helps to strategically target development of recreation access and new land protection opportunities to address gap areas.

Together these tools provide baseline information on demand for recreation access and the locations, type and use of nearby trails, parks and open space allowing users to gain insight into these community resources and enabling professionals to better understand and plan park systems.

Learning Objectives:
  • Participants will know how to access ParkServe and AIM tools.
  • Participants will learn how other communities have applied this information to inform decision making and advocacy for trails.
  • Participants will understand the connection between trail and park amenities, usage, and quality

About the Author

Emmalee Dolfi is the Senior Manager of Enterprise Data Systems for The Trust for Public Land. She oversees all things “10-minute walk” on the Research and Innovation team, including ParkServe and ParkScore, both of which map and analyze 10-minute walk park accessibility in cities and towns across the US. She also provides vision and strategy for automation by guiding the development of geospatial and statistical scripts and tools to support a variety of projects and initiatives.

More Articles in this Category

Texas Recently Got Their First National Water Trail

The newly designated Trinity River Paddling Trail is the first National Water Trail in Texas!

FAQ: What is the definition of a trail?

Defining a trail corridor in law, policy, and planning.

Design for Understanding: Protecting Trail Users in the Time of Covid-19

Don Meeker, president of Terrabilt, reflects on trails as a critical sanctuary during COVID-19, and provides guidance on signage to keep everyone on trails safe. Terrabilt will also provide the production artwork for their COVID-19 trail sign for free.

The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking at One of Its Meccas: An Application of the Travel Cost Method to Mountain Biking in Moab, Utah

This 1997 paper estimates the value of a relatively new form of recreation: mountain biking. Its popularity has resulted in many documented conflicts, and its value must be estimated so an informed decision regarding trail allocation can be made. A travel cost model (TCM) is used to estimate the economic benefits, measured by consumer surplus, to the users of mountain bike trails near Moab, Utah.