Ouzel. Photo by Scry Eye Photography

Seamlessly tracking land information from first contact with landowners to purchase to long-term management and care

Background

In 2009, Columbia Land Trust began to look for a solution to storing and tracking vital information for a rapidly growing portfolio of conserved land. When it became clear that off-the-shelf databases could neither nimbly nor artfully manage the kind of information we needed at our fingertips, we set out to design a database of our own. Many years, and a couple of versions later, the result is Ouzel (/ˈo͞ozəl/).

Columbia Land Trust decided to make the initial investment in Ouzel (and the Lands Database before it) with the intent of making Ouzel available to other land trusts facing the same data management challenges. With Ouzel, we have partnered with Tall Oaks Environmental to develop a robust web-based application to help us do our best work more easily and efficiently.

Subscribers to Ouzel will help to guide the future and ongoing development of the application. Our vision is that this database will become a living portal for information that evolves with new technology and is improved through the collaboration and innovation of the conservation community of users.

What Ouzel Does

Ouzel is both a storehouse of information and an essential planning and reporting tool. Ouzel offers key tools for land protection and stewardship work, includes key finance and management functionality, and tracks engagement and outreach. Ouzel is flexible and scalable, with the ability to integrate with most contact management databases and other modern tools that support an API. Ouzel provides:

  • A real-time snapshot of key land protection and stewardship information, giving easy access to up-to-date conservation metrics.
  • A seamless workflow from our land-acquisition team to our stewardship team, ensuring key information and documents are captured and readily accessible.
  • Access from remote offices, mobile devices, and volunteers via a web-based portal.
  • Controlled access to staff and volunteers, while protecting sensitive information, thanks to role-based security.

Key functionality of Ouzel includes:

ouzel functionality

What’s in the Works

Columbia Land Trust and Tall Oaks are in the process of continuing to develop and improve Ouzel’s features, preparing database documentation, and beginning to onboard new Ouzel subscribers. Most of the key functionality has been built in Ouzel, but there is room for improvement. Ouzel will continue to be refined over the coming year, and beyond, with improvements to the user interface, aesthetics, and workflows, as well as with the addition of some planned functionality.

What Does it Cost?

Columbia Land Trust and Tall Oaks will be continuing to refine costs to cover the cost of maintaining Ouzel while making it accessible to as many land trusts as possible. The current annual fee for Ouzel is $2,500, with no limit on the number of users or number of properties.

There is an additional one-time fee to set up and onboard a new subscriber. This amount is determined in meetings with the subscriber prior to signing a subscription agreement.

How to Keep in Touch With Progress

To learn more about Ouzel’s functionality, watch our recent Ouzel presentation.

To stay connected, fill out this brief survey. The information collected in this survey will help us understand what kinds of organizations are interested in Ouzel and allow us to stay in touch with interested parties. If you have additional questions or would like to explore subscribing, contact Natural Area Manager Jennifer Zarnoch.