Recovery and Response

April 20, 2020
Joshua Howard, Executive Director
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Recovery and Response


In this time of uncertainty, one thing that has been clear is just how essential the Trail Conference is to our region.

Like never before, our partners, government officials, and communities have been looking to us for guidance on safely visiting parks and trails. We know that through this pandemic, we are safest at home. But we also know that as more people discover the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of time spent outdoors, access to nature will be imperative in helping our country return to a sense of normalcy once this crisis has passed.

Our response now is crucial. We are preparing for the influx of visitors to the parks and trails under our care. Trails will require more skilled volunteers to educate users and build sustainable paths, and our online resources will be vital to direct traffic to underutilized parks. We will need to host webinars and trainings to help members of the growing trail community plan their outdoor excursions while using trails responsibly.

To meet this demand, we have launched the Recovery and Response Fund. This is an innovative new initiative to creatively and proactively respond to the needs of our parks and trails to ensure safe outdoor experiences for visitors. Our plan calls for the following:

  • Launching a series of online webinars to engage and train a robust volunteer force on best practices, since high use puts unprecedented strain on our trails.
  • Informing and motivating our state officials with data on the impact COVID-19 has had on our parks. This includes investments needed to prevent damage to trails and maximize the impact of our volunteers
  • Enhancing our digital platform to equip members, community leaders, schools, and partners with information on using our maps, planning outdoor excursions, and practicing safe behavior on the trails.

The increased interest in nature sparked by these difficult times can be nurtured into a full-blown passion for the outdoors. As a Trail Conference supporter, you can help establish that groundswell of conservationism and safeguard the future of natural areas right now. We ask you to consider supporting our efforts to inspire families, retirees, and everyone in between finding their path to wellbeing through the outdoors. We are grateful for your support and know that together, we will provide our region with nature’s restorative benefits.

Donate today!