Incident Reporting - Take Action To Protect the Real Long Island
If an emergency, please call 911. Otherwise, take a picture on your cell phone and submit with Contact us, or If you already have editing access, follow this link to directly submit a report to our Incident Reporting System.
Last updated: January 31, 2017
Quality Parks new citizen science mapping tool is designed to easily report incidents throughout Long Island's natural areas, open spaces, water, and parklands. Based on Google Maps, public citizens can record information about dumping, vandalism, invasive species, hazards, trail erosion, and other issues of concern. The map is publicly viewable and has two layers: one for confirmed incidents reports, and the other layer for clarification. When items are resolved, "cleaned up", data will be archived in a third layer. Anyone is welcome to join in. "This mapping tool will provide another vehicle for improved incident response and communication between public land managing agencies, law enforcement, nonprofits, and the general public," said Quality Parks President, Mindy Block. To report and emergency, always call 911 first. Individuals will need to contact Quality Parks for more information about entering data. But the data collected so far is available online.
Suffolk lawmaker pushes Parks Watch initiative to prevent dumping, illicit behavior (Jan 25th article) - "Hahn believes creating stronger relationships between the county’s parks department and the people who live near the parks is integral in helping improve park safety. “This proposal is calling on us to reach out to adjacent neighbors of all of our parks,” said Hahn. “If you see it, we can clean it up.” The initiative will establish a dedicated website, phone number, and email address to allow residents to report unlawful activity."
Just before the year's end, Janet Peterson of ParkWatch LLC, emailed, "Here is an example of how the Dept of Wildlife in B.C. decided to involve the public in stopping the dumping. ParkWatchReport could be used in the same way….maybe a reward would help get people’s attention."
Quality Parks held off, hoping to locate a broader regional contact, or to directly work the program under Quality Parks with a fundraising campaign. Quality Parks contacted NY State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) to see if they would host a more regional incident system, but it didn't match up with the work they were doing. The project went on hold.
In collaboration, we drafted a letter to State Legislator Steve Englebright and went to speak to him about options for implementation. He suggested that we contact LI State Parks.
After realizing around the time we were experimenting with Citsci.org, we contacted ParkWatchReport LLC, as an alternative incident reporting system. This system featured built in ways for public engagement and direct ties to law enforcement agencies. Yet some features needed further customization to benefit Long Island.
Quality Parks began using the Citsci.org application to monitor park vandalism and other related concerns. This wasn't what they normally collected data on, but they were open to letting us use their system. It also enabled us to team up with research scientists. We also added in a few data points from prior years. So the data today, is from Dec 2011 to April, 2016. During this time we found data entry to be difficult. But we've been in touch with them on software update requests. If you are interested in learning how to be part of this citizen science project which has been created as an Incident Reporting System (CitSci.org), please contact us.
Quality Parks applied various social media to document vandalism in natural areas. We used picassaweb and blogger. There's no record of this data anymore, but it was carefully transferred over to Citsci.org (see 2016 above). The concept was to expand to be a Long Island regional system that would also be connected to a mapping system. But it was still awkward to apply.