Engaging Multiple Audiences at Shelburne Farms
Shelburne Farms is a place close to our hearts. We enjoy tromping around their trails, where you can find one of the best views in Vermont, exploring their beautiful buildings, and supporting the communication needs of their education and sustainability programs. The landscape is striking; old hardwoods lining the gravel road and fields, the first view of the Farm Barn and its copper roof, the view of the lake from the Inn. These scenes have become organizational icons.
The several programs operating out of these buildings focus on educational initiatives, including studying and developing sustainability curricula for the next generation. Our challenge was to help the organization both represent the history of the property and articulate the important work happening every day to connect children with local agriculture, work with teachers around the world to develop sustainability curricula, and maintain a working landscape that produces high quality food. Daniel worked closely with Holly Brough, the Farm’s Director of Communications, to understand the audiences and help prioritize content to ensure that everyone could quickly find what they needed while learning about the breadth of the work happening on the property. We introduced T.J. to the property for his first visit because we wanted to make sure he could really feel the place before he started designing.
The result is one of our most intensive designs yet. It’s fully responsive, automatically adjusting to display on any width screen, from phones to large monitors. The site is built with Drupal 7 (the open source content management system we specialize in), allowing us to sort and relate content in many ways. A visitor can sign a virtual guest book, automatically notifying a staff member to review the comment and publish it on the guest book page, as well as on the right column of related pages. To stay at the Inn, you can find the room of your choice by filtering amenities and then submit an inquiry with your dates in mind. Use the event list filter to display specific types of events during a time period and then register your child for the camp program you find. Get to know the property through the virtual tour, where you can find information on buildings, including several slideshows of historic and contemporary images. And check out the local geography in our footer illustration.
The site has been up since December (2012) with great reviews, both from visitors and from staff who are now able to better tell the story of their niche within the Farm to their specific audience. When any of this content needs to be updated, staff log in and make the changes, without having to call for help, ensuring that content can stay fresh and dynamic.
If you haven’t been to the Farm or learned about how one of their programs could contribute to your community, make that happen this year. It’s well worth it.
Tamarack listened SO carefully to us, and then responded with great solutions. They're sharp thinkers, great communicators, and thorough trainers. They wrestled hard with the complexities of my organization to give us a new website that was light-years ahead of our old site in both functionality and feel. And they know how to laugh. I appreciated that.
Other Website Projects
Website for EnvironMentors
Website for Vermont Land Link
Website for Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, for Vermont FEED
Website for Land For Good
Website for Vermont Trails & Greenways Council
Website for University of Vermont Office of Sustainability
Website for University of Vermont Extension, for The Nature Conservancy, for Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Website for NeighborWorks Capital