North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department Completes GIS-Based Asset Inventory Project

DEVILS LAKE NEWS ROOM

DEVILS LAKE - The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department recently completed an asset inventory project for its 15 destination properties. During the 2018-2022 strategic planning process, the agency identified the need to inventory all the park system assets. This project came to fruition due to funds provided in the 66th Legislative Assembly.

The department hired Houston Engineering to inventory and geo-locate all the agencies' on-the-ground assets, establish a geographic information system (GIS) database, and develop an online “web viewer” for the park system. The inventory includes photos of each asset geo-located, which includes, not limited to: buildings, bridges, fishing piers, playground equipment, signage, camping pads, fire rings, and picnic shelters.

“This important tool will provide the public, park managers and maintenance personnel with easy access to accurate, real-time information about all the assets in each park,” stated North Dakota Parks & Recreation Director Andrea Travnicek. "Having this tool available helps our agency maintain accurate location data about our fixed assets, make updates in real-time, make data-driven decisions and continue to build relationships with our partners."

“The future use for this data is immense,” said project lead and Parks & Recreation Planner, Gordon Lemmel, PLA, ASLA. The full vision for this project is to be an online resource that contains major park and recreation assets that can be easily searched and used for the various planning, recreation, tourism and marketing efforts across the state.

The data collected will eventually feed into asset lifecycle replacement spreadsheets for each park and provide detailed information for budget forecasting, data-driven decisions, and total park ownership cost.

The department is currently working with its reservation system company to integrate this data into their program. “This new technology will give our customers a better understanding of the amenities available to them when choosing a campsite," states Travnicek. The department is aiming to have this feature available in the reservation system for the 2022 camping season.

The online viewer is publicly accessible through the department's website at www.parkrec.nd.gov/business/planning/rec-assets. The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to offer a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably manage resources.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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