The Pinelands is For Everyone project works to overcome the barriers faced by people who identify as disabled when visiting natural areas in the Pinelands. The videos below are part of this project and include replays of virtual town halls, nature trail evaluations and show the work we are doing with some of our partners. To learn more about the project visit The Pinelands is For Everyone webpage.
Kingsway Learning Center and Services provides an alternative educational environment designed specifically for the academic, therapeutic, social, and emotional development of students with multiple disabilities. Kingsway brings its clients to PPA’s Rancocas Creek Farm for volunteer workdays and will lead training sessions on serving people with disabilities as a partner in this project.
Trail Evaluation at Black Run Preserve: We spent some time on the Blue Trail to understand the concerns of nature lovers who use a walker or wheelchair on the trails. This trail evaluation was discussed during our virtual town hall, held September 14, 2021. Watch the replay of the town hall below.
Virtual town Hall Meetings
Virtual Town Hall April 6, 2021: Watch the replay! Speakers included Michael Brower, an expert with Disability Rights New Jersey who shared information on the rights of people with disabilities and Eric Husta, Atlantic County’s Parks Director, who discussed the county’s approach to making parks like their Estell Manor County Park more accessible. Hear from people who identify as disabled and their caregivers as they speak about their experiences in the outdoors.
Virtual Town Hall September 14, 2022: This Town Hall features a video highlighting the real experiences faced by people with limited mobility and their caregivers when visiting a nature preserve in the Pinelands in July. It was followed by an open discussion with participants.
We summarized what we learned from these town hall discussions and other focus groups in this document, A Report on Learnings From Town Hall Meetings and Focus Groups About Access to Natural Places for People With Disabilities. Read the report in Spanish Los Pinelands es para todes – Un informe sobre lo aprendido or listen to the report in English or Spanish.
Share your thoughts with us about the about the barriers you or the ones you love face when accessing parks and forests in New Jersey. Your feedback will provide valuable information as we create an online mobile-friendly tool with information about existing facilities and opportunities. We will identify the improvements and new facilities that are needed and propose specific new projects in underserved communities.
This initiative was funded by an Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant from the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Human Services.
The Access Nature Forum was created to bring together a diverse selection of like-minded individuals to have conversations about improving access to natural places. We aim to engage those with disabilities, their families, caregivers, veterans’ groups, assisted living organizations, advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, state, and local officials, and agencies in a public discourse that identifies public interest, concerns, and ideas, and join their voices for improving access to natural places. Learn more and get involved!