Wissahickon Trails, formerly the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, is a nonprofit organization that partners with local communities to protect the land and waterways of the Wissahickon Valley, in Montgomery County, PA.
Wissahickon Trails was taking a fresh look at its audiences and identity when they approached P’unk Ave in 2019. The organization was in the middle of changing its name, from Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association to Wissahickon Trails. And as it reflected on the past 60 years of work, it was considering ways to involve a broader range of community members in its mission. Environmental conservation can feel inaccessible and jargony. Wissahickon Trails wanted to remove the barriers so that more community members would use their trails, attend their events and volunteer with their citizen science programs.
We interviewed staff, volunteers and board members across the organization to learn more about Wissahickon Trails’ needs for the new website and brand. Our interviews confirmed that the site should motivate visitors to hike, volunteer or adopt green practices at home. Action—not just environmental education or information—was the goal. The website also needed to show how individual and collective actions fit together to support a healthier watershed. Stakeholders wanted to shine a light on the ways that community members across the region make conservation happen, together.
During our collaborative workshop with Wissahickon Trails staff, we explored the organization’s new visual identity and brand voice. We found that the team wanted to strike a balance between being credible and approachable. Scientific expertise made Wissahickon Trails trustworthy, but it was important to be friendly and welcoming to attract new audiences. Participants were drawn to a visual identity that inspired visitors through immersive photography and bold calls to action.
Whether you want to get out for a hike, attend a bird-watching event or learn how to advocate for environmental causes in your community, the new Wissahickon Trails website guides you to your destination. The organization’s personality—smart, community-driven and a little crunchy—shines through, so that visitors feel inspired to become involved.
We created a design system that accounted for a wide range of content, from bold moments showcasing their environment and people to detailed itinerary outlines.
Inspired by their vibrant photography and considering their need to be approachable and welcoming, we enhanced their existing color palette with bright accent colors to highlight information and call to actions.
Throughout the site, we layered design elements and utilized animation to create an engaging and energetic experience. Playful accents, personal quotes and highlights of nature are woven together to reflect the exploratory spirit of Wissahickon Trails.
The Wissahickon Trails website is designed with new visitors in mind. It is easy to navigate and find information about the organization’s distinct opportunities, with features like an interactive trail map, a visual events calendar and a plain language volunteer page. With Apostrophe CMS, the Wissahickon Trails team will be able to continually customize these pages over time.
We provided Wissahickon Trails with new brand messaging and brand voice guidelines. During an interactive training, staff learned how to implement these tools. The new website demonstrates a cohesive story uniting all of the organization’s programs, from creek cleanup, to bird monitoring, to guided community hikes.