The first Pennsylvania Environmental Council website launched in 1996, promising “project updates from the regional offices, selected Forum articles, organization and membership information, a publications list, and an information request section.” If you were among the early adopters with access to a dialup Internet connection, you could experience it all at a blazing 28.8 kilobits per second.
The World Wide Web has changed quite a bit since then, and PEC has kept pace by periodically redesigning our own little corner. Over the years we’ve added functionality to support video, audio, downloads, interactive features like ArcGIS StoryMaps, and social media integration. When smartphones and tablets came along, we overhauled the site to ensure it would continue to work well and look great on mobile devices. When COVID-19 scuttled PEC’s in-person events, the website became a hub for virtual gatherings. Through it all we’ve kept posting, experimenting with multimedia and publishing thousands of blog posts, podcasts, and videos. But despite all the bells and whistles, at its core the site isn’t all that different from the one we started out with — there’s just a lot more of it!
Managing 25+ years of accumulated content on a constantly evolving platform has been an ongoing challenge. On the one hand, we strive for a clean and intuitive user experience that makes the most recent and relevant materials easily accessible. On the other, we’re committed to preserving our library of informational resources and historical documents, on which our friends and partners tell us they still rely. Meanwhile, we recognize it’s vital to stay current with best practices for user accessibility, security, stability, and search engine optimization (SEO).
With all of this in mind, we worked with Cornershop Creative to give the PEC website a new look, a tidier organizational structure, and a more robust technological foundation underneath it all. At the updated pecpa.org you’ll find many of the same features you remember from the old site — and almost all of the content — but with better performance and a more streamlined presentation. The home page offers an overview of PEC’s program work to protect and restore Pennsylvania’s Air, Land, and Water resources. A glance at the News page will bring you up to speed on the very latest from those programs, as well as other items of interest to outdoorsy and conservation-minded Pennsylvanians. The PEC Bill Tracker provides a running list of state-level legislation, regulation, and policy proposals germane to PEC’s mission. For anything more than a few months old, dig into the Resources page, which includes a variety of customizable options to search, browse, filter and sort legacy content.
In the weeks ahead, after some cleanup and fine-tuning, we’ll be exploring some brand-new capabilities and features, including a searchable and sortable database of federal funding opportunities for Pennsylvania communities under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. In the meantime, we invite you to have a look around and let us know what you think. Please be patient as our staff works to refine and reorganize legacy content, and help us out by reporting any broken links or other irregularities you may notice to [email protected].