The city is looking for volunteers to help complete two community mapping projects, one detailing the city's trails and sidewalks and the other gathering information for fire prevention.
Working with the Orton Family Foundation Community Mapping Project, the city hopes to involve students and other interested residents in helping it gather information for interactive maps. Volunteers will use handheld GPS units to gather information.
"This project will hopefully be fun for participants and provide a valuable learning process while helping the community achieve some of its goals," City Deputy Manager Wendy DuBord said.
The city is planning to do the trail and sidewalk mapping project in May and June. The project is part of the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan Update and the City's Strategic Implementation Plan. It is intended to be a comprehensive inventory of all its pathways.
Volunteers will be trained on how to use the handheld GPS units to map the trails, DuBord said. The volunteers will walk the trails collecting information.
Work on the FIREWISE mapping project is scheduled for July and August. Volunteers will work with the city and Orton Family Foundation staff members to gather information on residences within the city and in the Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District.
That information will be entered into a database that will link descriptions of a residence's existing fire hazards, physical characteristics and mitigation plan to a map of the homes.
The FIREWISE project is funded through a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant and will be done through the Steamboat Springs Fire Department.
The Community Mapping Project started in 1999 and provides for a community-school partnership that allows students to use mapping and decision-making tools such as Geographic Information Systems. One of the project's goals is to involve the community, especially students.
Community Mapping Program Manager Connie Knapp said the project would allow volunteers to work with professionals such as GIS specialists and city fire prevention staff members.
"We couldn't pass up the opportunity to help kids become engaged in this process, especially since it involves learning and applying technology skills that are becoming more and more mainstream in community planning," Knapp said.
The city encourages students, families, teachers, organizations and any interested resident to volunteer. The city will have flexible scheduling and will provide training, supervision, transportation and lunch.
Volunteers will be publicly recognized for all hours donated to complete the project.
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