PEC staff works with numerous partners across the state to help build local stewards for Pennsylvania’s varied natural resources including land and water trails, forests, and watersheds. Through these efforts, we have worked on developing user-friendly tools to help residents and local organizations learn about and understand the ways in which they can interact with and have access to these special places, while at the same time understanding how to best protect them.
One of these is GoToTrails (gototrails.com), PEC’s online mapping tool. Designed to provide a “google-like” interface for GIS, this popular site allows users to identify trail networks, plan new connections, and manage existing ones. With the help of Environmental Planning & Design, we utilized the GoToTrails platform to build an additional tool specifically designed to meet the needs of the many watershed organizations across the state.
WaterResourcespa.org allows users to research a variety of watershed spatial and assessment data, overlay with basic demographic information, draw maps, and produce graphics. Through PEC’s interactive water resource mapping system, we have included popular water resource information layers including, stream-designated uses, impaired streams, TMDL designated tributaries, MS4 communities, areas covered by PA Act 167, stormwater management plans, and Pennsylvania Illegal dumpsites. Users can select a particular area and look at the underlying data layer metrics.
The site also enables the user to create maps with a variety of base layers such as topography, street, and aerial imagery. Our goal is to create a tool which brings a variety of water-related information, typically available on multiple sites to just one location.
We unveiled the prototype version this spring at a series of regional watershed meetings while the website was being developed and asked for feedback. We used input from users to create the version you can now access here.
We hope you’ll find this tool helpful and let us know if you have any suggestions that will help us improve the site.