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Access Nature Goes Statewide!

Get involved with the Nature:Accessible for All Campaign through a steering committee or our stipend program.

June 5, 2024


The Pineland Preservation Alliance (PPA), the New Jersey Division of Disability Services of the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DDS), the Edward J. Bloustein School, and Duke Farms have come together to lead a statewide effort to make recreating in nature a part of the lives of everyone in our state regardless of disability. The inspiration for this came from The Pinelands is for Everyone project, which has evolved into the new statewide Nature: Accessible for All initiative that brings in new activists and partners to the cause. PPA received critical funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to facilitate this campaign.

The Nature: Accessible for All campaign is a collaborative effort by individuals, public agencies and nonprofits to ensure that people with disabilities, their families and allies can and do enjoy New Jersey’s extraordinary natural places.  We aim to increase the public’s awareness that accessible nature trails and sites exist and are valuable to the quality of life; to improve the accessibility of trails and natural sites; and to provide reliable information about these facilities so people can plan successful expeditions into our natural areas.

Get Involved!

There are two ways to get involved in the Nature: Accessible for All campaign. You can sign up to join a working group(s) or apply for our stipend program. More details are below.

Join the Working Groups

Nature: Accessible for All is guided by a steering committee facilitated by Sean Kane-Holland, PPA’s Access Nature Disability Advocate, Carleton Montgomery, PPA’s Executive Director, and leading partners at the NJ Division of Human Services (DHS), the Bloustein School, and Duke Farms. The working group(s) meet monthly and structure our collective efforts to guide the development of the mission statement, goals, and actions in the Nature: Accessible for All campaign. Everyone invested in outdoor recreation is welcome and encouraged to join.  We welcome participation from individual advocates, organizations, and public and private agencies.

There are four working groups.

1. Regulatory Reform: New Jersey needs more trails, scenic sites, and similar facilities in natural settings that are accessible to people with disabilities, but existing environmental regulations present unintended obstacles to improving these assets for accessibility. This working group aims to work with state agencies to reform those rules to facilitate the creation of high-quality, accessible trails, sites, and facilities.

2. Communications and Engagement:
This group is tasked with developing a framework for engaging and educating the community to participate actively in the initiative. They are creating and releasing media resources for education and recruitment for the initiative.

3. Inclusive Programming: Individuals with lived experiences, their advocates, and land managers are partnering with this group to develop and implement strategies to advance inclusive, accessible educational programming at nature sites throughout New Jersey. 

4. Site Documentation and Evaluations: We are evaluating existing sites for accessibility and identifying best practices for developing and implementing management plans for the accessibility of nature trails, amenities, and facilities at nature sites.

We want to work with people from the disability community, land managers, and private and public agencies who are interested in advancing this campaign. If you are interested in or know of others who may be interested in these working groups, please send an introductory email to Sean Kane-Holland at sean@pinelandsalliance.org.

Apply For the Stipend Program

It is a core value of the campaign that voices from the disability community drive the design and implementation of the campaign’s strategies and activities. PPA is providing stipends of up to $10,000 to nonprofit organizations and $4,000 to individuals for work that advances the Nature: Accessible for All campaign

Organization Stipends
The stipends are intended to support nonprofit organizations in undertaking any activities
that advance the mission of the campaign. You can learn more about the organization stipends below.

Individual Stipends
The stipends are intended to support individuals while they undertake activities that
advance the mission of the campaign. We are looking for applicants to propose activities they believe are worthwhile and which they are equipped with experience or expertise to carry out.

If you have additional questions or want to learn more, please contact Sean at sean@pinelandsallaince.org

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