Weblinx, Incorporated

Park Districts and Recreation Web Design

Some people don’t fully realize the resource that their park district represents. Chances are, your park district offers much more than the maintenance of parks and playgrounds. We offer park districts excellent opportunities to present their range of programs and services to the community.

Weblinx, Inc. will help your park district connect with more local residents through specialized website design and digital marketing. Working together, we will draw your community to the valuable resource that they have in you. Start a partnership with us and build an award winning digital presence for your parks and recreation organization or facility.

Our Work

  • Mundelein Park District

    Mundelein Park District

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    The Mundelein Park & Recreation District is committed to connecting the community with quality recreation through diverse programs, facilities and open space.

    Features: Award Winning Design, Park District Web Design, WordPress CMS

  • Hyland Hills Park District

    Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District

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    Located in Federal Heights, CO, the Park District manages 20 beautiful parks on more than 450 acres of land.

    Features: Parks and Recreation Web Design, WordPress CMS

  • Park District Web Design

    Fox Valley Park District

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    The Fox Valley Park District is the 2nd largest park district in Illinois. It maintains 168 parks and 48 miles of inter-connected regional trails amid 2,500 acres of parkland.

    Features: Mobile First Responsive Web Design, WordPress CMS

  • Oswegoland Park District

    Oswegoland Park District

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    The Oswegoland Park District is responsible for acquiring, developing, and maintaining natural areas, parks, and leisure time facilities.

    Features: Integrated API’s w/ ActiveNet, Custom Interative Map, WordPress CMS

  • Custom Web Design

    Bensenville Park District

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    The Bensenville Park District manages 14 parks totaling 65.5 acres and was founded in 1960.

    Features: Parks and Recreation Website Design, WordPress CMS

  • Buffalo Grove Park District

    Buffalo Grove Park District

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    They enrich life and community through premier parks, programs, and facilities.

    Features: Park District Web Design, WordPress CMS

  • Parks and Recreation Website Design

    Mount Prospect Park District

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    The Mt. Prospect Park District was incorporated in June 1955 and is located approximately 35 miles northwest of Chicago.

    Features: Responsive Web Design, WordPress CMS

  • Parks and Recreation Web Design

    River Trails Park District

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    River Trails Park District was established in August 1965. The website won first place in at the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association Agency Showcase.

    Features: Responsive Web Design, WordPress CMS

  • Park District Web Design

    Grayslake Park District

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    The Grayslake Community Park District is a government agency providing leisure programs, parks and recreation facilities for their community.

    Features: Responsive Website Design, WordPress CMS

  • Park District Web Design

    Darien Park District

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    They provide high quality recreation programs, facilities, and parks, that meet the needs and enrich the lives of all district residents.

    Features: Park District Website Design, WordPress CMS

The Best Parks and Recreation Websites

It’s not easy to design a custom website for any place or entity. When you add in the fact that parks and recreation departments have the added complexity of municipal oversight – not to mention the design challenge of bringing the beauty of outdoor spaces to a pixelated screen – it’s no wonder things get a little harder.

In fact, we suspect that parks and recreation website design is a bit more challenging than people realize when they look at it from the outside. Luckily, our team has set up everything from single-page park websites to comprehensive web portals for urban park networks.

What we have learned from these projects, and from studying hundreds of designs across America, is that the best share some common traits. Wondering what makes a parks and recreation website design special? Let’s begin with the basics…

A Good Parks and Recreation Website Design Should Be Informative

In order for your website to be valuable to the community, it has to provide basic information. For instance, you’ll want to ensure that details like the park’s location, opening hours, and facilities are not only present, but also easy to find.

This might seem like something that is so foundational it shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but you’d be surprised at what can happen once multiple designers, executives, and committees get involved in the planning process. Sometimes, you can end up with a parks and recreation website that is heavy on aesthetics but isn’t actually that helpful to real-life visitors.

Never forget that many of the people who come to your website won’t be familiar with the spaces you have to share. They might not know where parking is, for instance, or how to find public events that are being hosted. Some might be traveling from out of town, or even from other countries.

So, while we have included this as a first point it’s also an idea you should revisit again and again throughout the design process. After all, if your website isn’t informative, then it isn’t actually fulfilling its main purpose within your department or the community at large.

Parks and Recreation Websites Need to Be ADA Compliant

In this day and age it would be irresponsible to launch a website that wasn’t compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act (or ADA) standards. However, given that a parks and recreation web portal will typically be produced by a municipal department for public usage, it’s especially crucial.

What does ADA compliance mean in a website? There are lots of small factors that come into play, including having accessibility options for those who have trouble seeing, hearing, or typing. There are also allowances made for colorblindness and other common disabilities. Rather than being a set of ironclad rules, it’s a way of ensuring that everyone has access to your content.

Maintaining ADA compliance standards isn’t difficult… so long as you’re working with the right web designer. A team like ours is going to keep you on the right side of these rules as a matter of normal course. Where municipalities sometimes come up short is in choosing bargain-basement web design teams, or even DIY templates. Then, they end up with websites that lack many of the features we’ll include in this article. Even worse, they can end up on the wrong side of federal regulations.

At best, having a parks and recreation website that doesn’t meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards is exclusionary. At worst, it could open up your government to charges of discrimination or even monetary damages through lawsuits. Why take the risk when it’s so easy to get things right?

The Best Parks and Recreation Websites Have Interactive Features

In most cases you won’t need anything like advanced programming or ecommerce features on a parks and recreation website. However, you might want to have some interactive tools.

For example, you could choose to have a reservation system that would let guests reserve paddle boats, gazebos, or other amenities. You might allow people to purchase passes, sign up for public events, or even donate money to the park. In some cases patrons can name benches and stands. The revenue might not be enormous, but it can help a municipality fund operations or expand into new areas.

Another interactive feature you could integrate could be a guided tour or a virtual view. You could install webcams so people can see the beauty of your parks at any time of the day. You could include trackers that show the weather, or how busy certain parts of your parks system are. And of course, you could allow people to sign up if they want to be guides or volunteers.

It might be that some or all of these features make sense for your parks system. Or, it could be the case that you require something entirely different for your website. Either way, it’s worth thinking about the possibilities from the outset. That way, you can work with your designer to build a web presence that doesn’t just make it easier for the public to enjoy your spaces, but also for administrators to do their jobs more efficiently.

Photos, Directions, and Other Extras Add Special Flair

You might have thought that we would have begun with a discussion about visuals. In a way, that makes sense, given that the pictures you put on your parks and recreation website will help “sell” the spaces to visitors.

However, we included the other points before this one for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easy to get carried away with the looks of your website and forget about things like usability, accessibility, and programming. And second, we assume that most administrators are going to recognize intuitively that pictures are a big part of the mix.

With that being said, don’t necessarily go straight to the same photos you’ve been using for years in brochures or other materials. Think about getting some new high-res images – either on your own or from a local photographer. In fact, you could even hold a contest and get local residents and park enthusiasts to take pictures (ideally during different times and seasons) that could be used on your website.

And speaking of visuals, don’t forget that you can always include maps, trail guides, and other downloadable visuals for visitors to follow. These are easy to produce and analyze benefits. For instance, they make your parks easier to find and navigate, while also enhancing safety for guests.

You might already have some fantastic ideas about the visuals you want to use on your parks and recreation website. Just know that more pictures, and more choices, are always better than fewer.

Any Parks and Recreation Website Should Get Regular Updates

One final point before we move on: A good parks and recreation website shouldn’t be static. It needs to grow, evolve, and update over time.

In one sense, this advice is purely technical. You’ll either have to perform regular updates to your content management system and hosting platform or work with a web designer who will do it for you. Otherwise, you could start to deal with performance issues and online security problems that hackers can exploit.

In a bigger sense, though, what we really mean is that your website should reflect the current conditions of your parks network. Do you have a location that is closed for renovation? Activities that deserve more attention? Special areas for viewing fall foliage, spring flowers, or even wildlife?

These are all simple examples, but they point to the need for regular content updates to your website. It might not be the case that you need to add new content or change your visuals every week; most parks simply aren’t that busy that they need ongoing calendar changes. However, we recommend that you review your website at least once a quarter to ensure that information is accurate and up to date.

All websites need to be updated from time to time, and the one you have built for your parks and recreation department is no different. Schedule regular reviews so you can ensure things are working just as they should be for years to come.

Need Help Building the Perfect Parks and Recreation Website?

We have given you a lot to think about in this short summary. But while we hope you’ll follow the tips we provided, it’s probably fair to say the bigger point is that having the right experience with parks and recreation website design can keep you from overlooking important details.

That’s where the team at Weblinx comes in. Although we are based in Illinois, we have worked with businesses and municipalities around the world. If you want to have a team of friendly, knowledgeable, and creative experts on your side, then we encourage you to get in touch. It only takes a moment to get a quote for your parks and recreation website design project, so contact us today!

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