New Jersey Conservation Foundation

Initiative: Trails for Everyone

Grant years: 2023–24

njconservation.org

New Jersey has long been a leader in preserving land and creating opportunities for people to have access to parks, trails, and other natural spaces. But these spaces are not equally available to everyone. Very few trails are designed to be accessible for people with disabilities. More than 478,000 people in New Jersey have ambulatory difficulty, which means, together with their friends, family, and hiking companions, as much as 25% of New Jersey residents are affected by this deficit of accessible trails.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation owns and manages more than 27,000 acres with 75 miles of trails throughout the state. Working closely with Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Hopeworks, we will conduct assessments of our trails in southern and central New Jersey to identify accessibility barriers. In consultation with disabled trail users, we will select a subset of trails to improve with the goal of maximum accessibility. A series of guided hikes will then be held to introduce the completed accessible trails to members of the disability community, their families, and friends.

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