The Washington State Parks Foundation has launched a new website at waparks.org with added features and resources that make it easier than ever for people to connect and share their experiences as they discover all the picturesque and unique parks the Evergreen State has to offer.
Columbia Hills State Park
“It’s nearly impossible to fully appreciate just how spectacular and amazingly diverse Washington’s 124 state parks are”, said John Floberg, WSPF’s Executive Director, “with dramatic coastlines, islands, mountains, rivers and coulee canyons just waiting to be discovered. We created this website to help you find your favorite state parks, to see what it’s like to walk the beaches or climb the hills, and to share your special park stories with each other.”
Wenatchee State Park
Supported by a partnership with WSECU, the new Washington State Parks Foundation’s website features an improved statewide interactive map and a new burgeoning trip reporting platform. Both features are designed to provide robust information for park users. The trip reporting is in its infancy and over time will help create more engagement from park visitors as they share their Washington State Parks experiences, opening up a new world of adventures.
“Our state parks system is Washington’s jewel box," said Ann Flannigan, WSECU’s Vice President of Public Relations. “The credit union is committed to supporting public service - and public treasures – like the state parks. The new website makes it easier than ever to find a park to visit and to learn from other people’s experiences about what makes it special.”
The launch of the site comes during a season many individuals name as their favorite time to visit a Washington state park. Autumn is the perfect time to take in the fall colors with lighter crowds and mild weather. In addition, many parks offer festivals during the fall months.
The website consists of four main information sources: an interactive map, park pages, trip reports and virtual tours. Seattle-based Pariveda provided the technology support for the new site and was instrumental in its retooling.
The interactive map is the ideal starting place for park trip planning due to its clickable statewide map (https://waparks.org/interactive-state-park-map/). Users can zoom in to certain regions and find all the parks in the area. At the individual park page, visitors can discover what amenities each park has and links to connect to camping reservations. Visiting state parks for the day does require the purchase of a day pass or an annual Discover Pass.
Floberg noted he was especially excited at the development of the trip reporting element. This new feature, powered by valuable word of mouth from users, is expected to grow in functionality and become increasingly valuable for helping park fans to locate that hidden gem or steer families towards the perfect Saturday trip. It allows anyone the opportunity to post insights and reviews about their favorite state parks following an easy registration process.
The website offers quick and easy access to essential park information that visitors might need before hitting the road. This includes special virtual tours of most individual parks. The website currently hosts more than 105 virtual tours, with more coming. These provide a 360-degree view and navigation tools that offer a scene-to-scene walkthrough of state parks, trails, campgrounds, retreat centers, interpretive centers and vacation houses.
“We know how important it is to have features and information that enhance the park user experience, from the wonderful website of the state parks agency to the online resources at waparks.org.” said Floberg. “We’re all used to asking friends and neighbors for recommendations or turning to social media. Now, those word-of-mouth trip experiences can be collected, responded to, and made available to all in one place. We couldn’t have done this without the partnerships with WSECU and Pariveda.”
About the Washington State Parks Foundation The purpose of Washington State Parks Foundation (WSPF) is to ensure a vibrant Washington State Parks system for generations to enjoy. WSPF is a donor-driven nonprofit that is deeply committed to providing visitors from all sectors of society access to welcoming, joyful parks experiences. We engage, expand, and sustain a broad base of supporters who give to, advocate for, and treasure our state parks. waparks.org
About WSECU Founded by a handful of state employees in 1957, WSECU has grown to serve all residents in Washington State, with a special focus on those who share the values of giving back to the community through employment, service, volunteering and donations. WSECU meets members’ needs at its 21 branches, by phone and through the credit union’s digital channels. To learn more, visit wsecu.org.
About Pariveda Solutions Pariveda is an employee-owned, strategic services and information technology consulting company that grows and deploys talented people to solve the strategic and technical challenges of its clients. To learn more, visit parivedasolutions.com