Growing a New Generation of Environmental Stewards

NatureBridge's website must perform as an effective tool in order to sustain their mission of inspiring students to be good stewards of our planet. The limitations of their previous website forced them to look for external tools to meet their sales and marketing needs.

A Fresh Start

Kalamuna, in close collaboration with Blue State Digital and NatureBridge, was able to deliver a new platform that beautifully delivers NatureBridge’s most important messaging and most striking visuals. Leveraging Drupal 8, the new site provides NatureBridge the flexibility to scale and evolve their programs and offerings, as well as integrate with other systems as their sales and marketing efforts grow in sophistication.

Our Greatest Natural Treasures

NatureBridge is the largest nonprofit educational partner of the National Park Service, serving over 35,000 students and 700 schools each year across six national parks: Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Santa Monica Mountains and Channel Islands in California; Olympic National Park in Washington; and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. Their mission is to connect young people to the wonder and science of the natural world, igniting self-discovery and inspiring stewardship of our planet.

Better Use of Resources

The previous NatureBridge website was not mobile-friendly nor responsive, leaving many visitors with a poor experience and impression of NatureBridge. Even on a large screen device the design felt dated, relying too heavily on text. The lack of photography was truly a missed opportunity because the National Parks in which NatureBridge operates provide stunning imagery as the backdrop for the educational experiences NatureBridge curates.

Functionally the website underperformed as well. Search within the site was poor, as was SEO intended to draw traffic from organic search. Donations pages were difficult to edit and customize, leaving the sales and marketing staff in a troubling position as they tried to promote events and programs. NatureBridge found themselves needing to spin up third party microsites to accomplish what they really needed their own website to support.

The NatureBridge website is a key part of the organization's ability to attract program registrants and partners, encourage donations and sponsorships, and enhance their own reputation and promote their mission. They needed a new website to better deliver on those outcomes.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Fundamental to the success of this project was an effective partnership between the three parties involved: NatureBridge (the client), Blue State Digital (who handled content strategy and design), and Kalamuna (who handled prototyping, coding, deployment, and support). With three partners collaborating, good teamwork and communication becomes even more important. To that end, we developed a working relationship that not only worked, but built upon each team’s specific expertise.

As a primary goal, NatureBridge required their programs to be findable and appealing to site visitors. Blue State worked to improve the information architecture so that content was organized in a more intuitive fashion. They also made dramatic design improvements to the program pages, leveraging NatureBridge’s stunning photography to add genuine appeal to each page.

Building upon Blue State’s design work, Kalamuna was able to build rapid prototypes of the designs utilizing our Kalastatic prototyping tools. Kalastatic allowed us to quickly demonstrate for NatureBridge, not only what the designs would look like as an actual webpage, but how the pages would adjust responsively to different browser widths and screen sizes. NatureBridge was able to test the prototypes of their designs before they were implemented into the content management system.

We partnered with Blue State Digital and Kalamuna to redesign and launch Blue State Digital led the strategic and creative vision and Kalamuna led the implementation and development. Kalamuna's skilled team of developers really made the designs come to life.
Christina Loehnig, National Marketing Manager, NatureBridge
A portrait of Christina Loehnig, National Marketing Manager, NatureBridge

Sustainable Solutions

Another key to NatureBridge’s ongoing success was developing a flexible, sustainable, and extensible set of tools to avoid over-reliance on external services to supplement their website’s limitations.

Leveraging the unique strengths of Drupal 8, Kalamuna was able to give NatureBridge greater flexibility with page layouts and designs throughout the site. Drupal 8, along with a refined content architecture, also provided a better search experience within the site, as well as better SEO results from external searches.

Thinking ahead, Kalamuna configured NatureBridge’s implementation of Drupal 8 so that a future integration of Salesforce would be possible, giving NatureBridge the potential for even more sophisticated sales and marketing interactions online.

In short, Kalamuna delivered the robust and powerful platform NatureBridge desired. The effects of its improved efficiency and flexibility were immediately apparent as NatureBridge began to work with flowing content into the site. The ease of use, beauty, and simplicity of the design speak for themselves.

NatureBridge now has a website worthy of its brand and mission.