King County Parks, WA Relies on SeeClickFix for Resident-Staff Collaboration
In early January 2019, strong wind and rainstorms swept across King County causing damage and fallen trees all over the park system, especially on the backcountry trails. According to Brownell, if a phone call had come in, it would’ve gone to administrative staff, they’d call the manager, the manager would’ve called the field staff and so on causing a game of telephone and hours of inefficiency.
“The beauty of SeeClickFix is if you’ve got the app, it geolocates you and will instantly let you know if you’re in our jurisdiction, or somebody else’s. It helps educate a resident about where they’re standing in relation to who handles it, giving them the power to easily report and notify the right people. On the other side, it gives park staff a greater level of efficiency.”
-Eli Brownell, Parks Communications Specialist for King County Parks
Instead, many residents submitted fallen tree sightings via SeeClickFix, alerting officials where their attention was needed most. Park staff received the notifications, dispatched crew members and equipment to the locations based on the descriptions and photos added. Due to the collaboration, staff was able to clear massive trees and debris in a quick and efficient fashion. Storms like those in January are not uncommon, making the tool a must-have for future events.
Beyond the collaboration between residents and staff, having data to analyze and share was essential to Brownell when implementing SeeClickFix. When he first pitched SeeClickFix, staff wondered if it would add another layer of work. “If someone calls in a request for service and it isn’t entered into SeeClickFix, the issue still exists, but we don’t have the data to follow up. With SeeClickFix we have better operational visibility to indicate our level of efficiency and to help justify our budget,” says Brownell.
Recently, King County Parks hired two sheriffs to help address issues within their jurisdiction. These days, requests in the system not only offer insight into the needs of residents but also offer data trends that Brownell and team share with management as an indicator of where resources, like the sheriffs, are being allocated vs. where they might be needed more stripping hours of inefficiency.
Whether it’s a chance to get away from the noise, to connect with each other or to be out in nature, keeping these spaces clean, safe, and beautiful is a priority for residents and the people who are responsible for taking care of these special places. Having an easy way to manage and prioritize requests that arise is just one step King County Parks is taking to protect the quality of life for everyone in the county.