I'm writing a description of a town for class, and so far most of my sentences end with "があります". I don't want it to get to repetitive, so are there any alternatives to saying something like "there are parks" etc.?
Well try thinking of things that don't use "is" or "are" and then that will help you. Make your objects into subjects.
For example, instead of saying, there is a river (川があります) you could say a river runs through it (川が流れています). Similarly, instead of "there is a shrine by the river" you could say "a shrine is standing by the river."