GROTON -- New tools are available for land trusts, conservation commissions and the general public to use to access public trail information on the web and via their mobile devices.

The Nashua River Watershed Association is offering a free overview of Montachusett Regional Planning Commission's new "MRMapper and MRPC Mobile Apps" on Thursday, Feb. 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the NRWA River Resource Center at 592 Main St. in Groton.

Jason Stanton, GISP, the GIS/IT Director at MRPC, will present this hands-on interactive demonstration. Attendees are encouraged to bring their mobile devices with them. We'll discuss how these applications can be useful for trail building and maintenance, stewardship, and to encourage public access and engagement with the numerous public trails in our region.

MRMapper is a web mapping (or web Geographic Information Systems-GIS) tool with a number of free and publicly accessible applications that allow users to access, view, query, edit, export, and share data related to the Montachusett Region and their community or area of interest. Users can even print maps. One of the MRMapper applications is a trails inventory which is the subject of this presentation. MRPC has also developed Mobile Apps for use on-the fly, giving users the opportunity to measure distances and areas, create bookmarks for easy navigation, collect GPS data with up to 10 foot accuracy, and attach pictures and/or videos to data.

Jason Stanton earned a bachelor of science in geography from Bridgewater State College with concentrations in Geo-Technology, regional and economic planning and environmental geography. His 15 years of GIS experience in the field began with a position at the US Census Bureau, and has continued with the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission from 2001 to present.

Jason has been MRPC's GIS director since 2007, responsible for all aspects of the GIS Department since. He recently obtained the designation of GISP (GIS Certified Professional) from the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI).

The NRWA and MRPC are co-chairs, together with Dick O'Brien of Conservation Works, LLC, of the Montachusett Regional Trails Coalition, a group of over two dozen organizations focused on developing diverse, high quality trails for all people, with a goal of a trail within 15 minutes of every home, school and workplace.

This presentation is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is appreciated for planning purposes. To pre-register, contact Al Futterman, NRWA land programs and outreach director, at 978-448-0299, or email alf@nashuariverwatershed.org.

The NRWA is a nonprofit environmental organization that depends on memberships for support. Visit nashuariverwatershed.org to learn more.