The Great Neck Park District launched a new website on Monday that is intended to increase the district’s engagement with members of the community, Superintendent Jason Marra said.
Marra said since he began working at the park district about a year ago, one of the main goals he, park district staff and the Board of Commissioners set was to enhance interactions with the community.
“Our main goal and our main vision of [the website] was to engage our community more and to be transparent,” he said. “We wanted to improve the overall communication and improve our services.”
Marra said the park district’s new website compared with its old one are “night and day” in terms of both aesthetics and overall function.
One of the key aspects of the new website, he said, is resident customization.
Marra said park district members can customize what notifications they want to receive by text message or email.
If someone is only interested in programs at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink, for example, they can register to get text or email updates specific to programs at the ice rink.
Customization is not just limited to what notifications a park district resident receives, he said.
The new website also hosts an up-to-date calendar of park district programs and events, Marra said, which residents can customize to only include listings of ongoing events he or she is interested in.
He said the park district now allows members to register for programs online. This includes those who are looking to request usage of any of the district’s facilities.
Marra said the new website operated and managed by district staff it rather than a third party, which helps the district maintain an “up-to-the-minute” calendar and send out notifications as soon as possible.
“It comes back to providing the best service possible. We want people to know what we’re doing. It helps participation,” he said. “We want people to know what’s going on in the district and we want that information to be easily accessible.”
Marra said the website also allows residents to alert the park district of any issues they may find while walking through one of the parks or while inside one of the facilities.
Park district members, he said, can immediately contact the district by computer, tablet or phone from the website to send them a picture or message of what it is that needs fixing.
“We have the ability now to improve communications and get us more information,” Marra said.
Marra said the website also has a survey function and its pages can be translated into 100 different languages.
“If they think something’s missing or would like to add something, they can let us know,” he said.
Marra said to register for programs, park district members need to log in to their account. The username is the 10-digit phone number under which the member or household is registered, and the password can be found on the bottom right corner of the park district card.
Those who are already registered with the district do not have to sign up for a new account as the district already created an account for them.
While the district is excited to launch its new website, Marra said, they are still working on additional features including allowing candidates to apply for vacant park district positions online.
He said the new website started as a goal shared by he and the Board of Commissioners, but as the process continued, all of the staff at the park district joined the initiative to improve communications.
“It was a team effort,” Marra said. “All the staff involved from administration to part-time seasonal staff stepped up to do extra things.”
“Everybody’s goal is to really get this done and improve what we have to offer,” he added.