A Nation of Public Lands at Your Fingertips: Booz Allen and Recreation.gov

Nov 19, 2019 2:00 PM ET

On National Camp Day (November 19) and every day, people can reserve a campsite, apply for a hiking permit, or buy a ticket to a historic site from their laptop, tablet, or smartphone. It’s all made possible by Recreation.gov.

Rolled out in October 2018, the Booz Allen-developed digital platform was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal and earned the firm a 2019 Excellence in Partnership (EIP) award from the Coalition for Government Procurement, for “Excellence in Innovation.” For the past 18 years, the EIP Awards have honored individuals and organizations in the government acquisition community that have demonstrated a special commitment to delivering best value solutions to meet agency mission needs. 

Modernizing the federal digital experience  

Booz Allen drew from extensive user research and feedback to create a 21st century user experience, including e-commerce and mobile, and brought it to life through human-centered design, cloud hosting, and modular, open-source technologies.

With 4.8 million transactions by 19 million users to date, such a commercial-grade digital solution is essential—especially during high-traffic vacation-planning times like late winter or for in-demand sites like Yosemite National Park.

“When everybody shows up to click the buy button at the same time, there is not a huge snowball effect on the service,” Martin Folkoff, chief technologist in Booz Allen’s strategic innovation group, told The Wall Street Journal.

Achievements in automation and collaboration    

Recreation.gov is making life easier for federal employees as well. At Olympic National Park, it previously took 15 minutes to process each wilderness permit manually. With Recreation.gov, the park processed 931 digital permits within the first hour of operations—and estimates that employees will save approximately 5,000 staff hours per year.

The platform, a collaborative effort involving 12 federal agencies, is also transforming how government works with industry. The Recreation.gov project embodies the government’s quest to modernize its information technology, through partnering with the commercial sector.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article and learn more about innovation at Booz Allen.