IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

St. Charles Park District Leverages GPS to Paint Athletic Fields

New system reduces labor, saves paint and improves accuracy.


St. Charles Park District — which serves more than 51,000 residents in St. Charles, Illinois — implemented a GPS-enabled paint spraying system to meet the community’s athletic field needs more efficiently and economically.


The paint spraying system combines a GPS unit with an iPad mounted to a utility cart. An operator drives to each location and follows a pre-calibrated design to paint a specific field. When the cart is lined up properly, the paint sprayer starts and stops in the defined locations, while the auto-steer system ensures the lines are painted in the proper configuration. Prior to this implementation, initial field layouts took at least three staff about two weeks to complete. The new system allows one operator to complete the entire process in less than three days. Plus, the accuracy of the field layouts is better.

In the past, some fields were painted even when they weren’t used to ensure the lines remained visible throughout the season. Now, any field can be painted at any time, saving on labor and paint materials.


Working with a local vendor, the district retrofitted a utility cart with the steering and guidance systems. Since the system is easy to operate, staff learned its operations in less than two weeks. The labor reduction and paint savings have helped offset the cost of implementation.