Land Protectors

Land Protectors are volunteers who plant trees and shrubs, remove illegally dumped debris and install blockades to protect against off-road vehicle abuse.

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In 2014, PPA Trustee and renowned Pinelands landscape photographer, Albert Horner, organized volunteers to help care for the natural resources of Wharton State Forest. They began by working to combat the damage being done by thousands of off-road vehicles (ORV) coming from the tri-state area to illegally use the Pinelands as an off-road vehicle park, instead of treating it like the globally unique ecosystem that it is.

Since that time, we have expanded on Albert’s volunteer effort. Our goal is to help land managers deal with some of the stewardship issues they encounter. Volunteers have planted hundreds of trees and shrubs, removed tens-of-thousands of pounds of illegal dumping, and installed dozens of blockades to protect intermittent ponds, dunes, and geological features from widespread ORV abuse. Join us!

Defenders have collected tens of thousands of pounds of debris dumped illegally on State Forest and private lands in the Pinelands. ©PPA

This effort demonstrates that a single person can make a significant difference and a group of people can change not only the situation on the ground, but even affect the entire perception of the Pinelands as a place worthy of respect. Each volunteer that shows up to a stewardship event does so knowing that their contribution is part of long-term effort to help sustain the Pinelands and prevent destructive actions that would otherwise go largely unchecked. They see the value in the work that they do and feel that a few hours each month is worth the sacrifice to help protect this place that they hold so dear.

Sign up for the Land Protectors
barrier construction wharton state forest mullica river pinelands preservation alliance
PPA’s Pinelands Defenders help NJ State Parks staff install an off-road vehicle barrier next to the Mullica River in Wharton State Forest. ©Kevin Sparkman

We have designed these projects to be family friendly and accessible to most, but some challenges are always present when working in the field, and project sites are sometimes far from paved roads or other infrastructure.

We hope you can join us in fighting to protect this beautiful natural resource. Sign up below and we will contact you via email each month with upcoming events and projects.

Questions? Contact Jason Howell, Stewardship Coordinator by email at [email protected] or by phone at 609-859-8860 ext 125.

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