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New Trail Signs Highlight Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in West Milford, NJ
Source:New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
PC Region:New Jersey
Left: Prototype kiosk, 2010. Right: Completed kiosk with informational signage, 2012
Together with the Town of West Milford, NJ, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has developed and installed 8 informational kiosks to draw attention to more than 100 miles of Trail Conference-maintained hiking trails in the municipality. The kiosks feature detailed maps, trail highlights, park information, local flora and fauna, and safety information for novice hikers. The kiosks were built, installed, and signage attached by teams of volunteers.
The project involves multiple agencies, the town, and volunteers recruited from Boy Scouts and local hiking clubs. A prototype kiosk was constructed and installed on Clinton Road in 2010 by Trail Conference volunteers Ron Luna, Bob Jonas, and Erik Luna, and then-Trail Conference staff member Chris Ingui.
Subsequently, volunteers Ron and Eric Luna constructed an additional 7 kiosks and delivered them to the Trail Conference for future installation. Bob Jonas scouted each location and obtained all necessary approvals from land owners. He also assisted in developing panel content by hiking to scenic viewpoints to take photos and by drafting descriptive and explanatory text.
For his Eagle Scout project, Alex Butfilowski installed 7 additional kiosks, along with his father, sister, and other helpers. The team picked up each kiosk from the Trail Conference, and installed it at its designated location, cementing them into the ground for stability..
For the final stage--the addition of sign panels-- volunteers were recruited from two local Trail Conference member clubs, the West Milford 13ers and the Weis Wyanokie Wanderers (representing New Jersey Audubon Society).
Signage is now installed at trailheads in Norvin Green State Forest, Abraham S. Hewitt State Park, Wawayanda State Park, and the Pequannock Watershed.
Now that the kiosks have been installed, the Trail Conference will soon be installing trail road-crossing signs in more than 20 locations in the area. The road crossing signs in conjunction with the information provided at the kiosks will create a safer and more enjoyable outdoor experience.
Trail Conference Executive Director Ed Goodell notes that if the project with West Milford proves successful, the Trail Conference plans to start accepting private donations from entities and private citizens interested in sponsoring additional kiosks throughout the region. A fund would then be created to maintain the kiosks and update the maps and information as needed, he said.
In addition to the volunteers named above, land owner/agency partners who cooperated with this project include New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection, Wawayanda State Park, Ringwood Sate Park, Passaic County Road Dept; Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, and Douglas Ott of the West Milford Environmental Commission.
Funding for the project comes from a 2008/2009 Recreational Trails Grant from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection and from West Milford Township.