Parkpulse.io is a web resource designed to support safe and equitable access to parks and nature by empowering users with location-specific detailed park information to assist recreation decision-making. This project was initiated through a community service-oriented partnership between Knot and the State of Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) as a collaborative response to the global pandemic. Through conversations between Knot and OREC, the development of a comprehensive resource that provides users with intra-agency outdoor recreation information was identified as a priority need.
Parkpulse.io aggregates recreation opportunity information across agencies and displays a user specific set of data based on location. Parks are displayed according to typology and travel distance from the user’s location. Each park has a variety of attributes which are accessed by interacting with the park point. This tool provides parks specific information and custom metrics which can influence decision-making, including; crowding potential, Covid prevalence, park amenities, distance away, open/closure status and external links to current agency specific restrictions.
When you select the “Start Exploring” button Parkpulse.io will automatically detect your location and generate a custom set of recreation opportunities within 50 miles (please be patient, it may take a minute to generate a custom set of data for you). Scroll around in the map to explore recreation options near you. For park specific information, click on a pin to open a diverse set of attributes. The attributes will tell you; how far away the park is, what the open/closure status of the park is, what amenities the park has, what the potential for crowding might be and what the Covid prevalence is within a likely travel distance to the park. There will also be a link to agency specific information on restrictions during the pandemic.
To further explore these destinations, drop the streetview icon onto the map near the pin and look around. Many parks have a collection of photos that you can explore through streetview to give you a better sense of what a new park may be like before you get there. To get back to your map, simply click the back arrow in the upper left corner of the streetview image.
For directions to a park click the “Google” link on the bottom left hand corner of the map when your desired destination is in the map view. Google maps will open up with your desired destination in the center of the view. From there you can use the “directions” button to find the best route from your current location.
*If you are not in Oregon but would explore the site, please click the “Select Location” button, zoom to the state of Oregon and double click at a point in Oregon to see results.
Parkpulse.io is a comprehensive database of Outdoor Recreation opportunities in the State of Oregon and shows you a custom set of information based on your location. You will see every park within 5 miles of your location, you will see Regional, State and Federal parks between 5 and 20 miles of your location, and you will see State and Federal parks between 20 and 50 miles of your location. Ideally this gradient of information will help to encourage a deeper exploration of local parks in your neighborhood and will help to expand the use of lesser known destinations that may currently be underutilized.
The Parkpulse.io crowding potential metric uses two factors to estimate the relative likelihood of encountering crowds; overall popularity and visitor capacity. Parks that are relatively popular with low visitor capacity will have the highest crowding potential, and parks that are relatively unpopular with high visitor capacity will have the lowest crowding potential. This metric is intended to provide you with information to help plan your trip, but does not report real time crowding information for each site. Since this isn’t real time crowding information, you should always be prepared to adjust your plans as necessary if you unexpectedly encounter crowds.
Crowding is a temporal spatial issue so when you go is just as important as where you go. If you explore at non-peak times (early mornings, weekdays) you will have a better chance of encountering fewer people. If you explore at peak times (weekends, late afternoons, holidays) you have an increased chance of encountering crowds at any destination.
The Parkpulse.io Covid prevalence metric shows you: 1) a two-week average of daily cases per 100,000 people estimated within a likely travel distance to the park, 2) how many cases per day have occurred over the past two-weeks and 3) what the overall risk level is for that area. These Covid metrics are automatically updated daily using the New York Times national Covid database. County level Covid data is spatialized using a federal population allocation approach and analyzed within each park buffer. These values utilize average cases per person with each county to generate park specific estimates.
The risk thresholds shown in our Covid dashboard utilize a set of standards developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute based on number of daily cases per 100,000 individuals. These standards are intended to allow cross comparison of risk across a variety of population sizes and spatial densities. The Covid prevalence metric uses a 14-day average in order to limit the influence of differential reporting based on day of the week and to capture broader trends in local spread. The Covid prevalence graph can be used to determine rate of change and general trajectory of the disease locally.
It is important to keep in mind that while outdoor activity is currently considered to be lower risk, there is still some level of risk everywhere during the period of the pandemic and care must be taken regardless of the predicted risk level. Please visit recreateresponsibly.org for best practices.