Every year, PPA is engaged in many advocacy and legal battles with polluters and irresponsible developers. Many of these cases start with a tip from watchful residents like you. To better anticipate, recognize, and respond to development projects or other detrimental activities occurring in your communities, we need your help!
Join the Pinelands Community Network!
GET INVOLVED Protecting the Pinelands requires the joint effort of citizens, nonprofit organizations, experts and dedicated officials. We welcome many levels of involvement which can range from simply getting to know your neighbors better to regularly attending your local planning/zoning board and town council meetings. Other actions can include rallies, public hearings, and letter writing campaigns for example. We provide an opportunity for YOU to make a difference.
MEETINGS are held on a rotating basis among the different Pinelands counties. These in-person gatherings are meant to foster social connection and connect based on shared interests and concerns. Members are highly encouraged to attend the meeting that is specific to their county (1-2 per year), but are also welcome at other county meetings. Each meeting will feature at least one local NGO to help lead a discussion on county-specific issues, such as warehouse construction, illegal dumping, and flooding.
TRAININGS are held semi-annually to provide specific advocacy skills or conservation knowledge.
KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING through our online community, where members can share resources, ask questions, and raise the alarm about concerning things happening in their communities. More information about the online community coming soon.
Sign up today!
County Updates & Upcoming Meetings:
January 2023: Residents gathered in the Mays Landing Branch of the Atlantic County Library System the evening of January 18 to discuss strategies for protecting a local forest under threat. The focus of the evening was an amusement park that had been proposed to be built on forested land in Hamilton Township that was zoned for residential development. Some of the meeting attendees had extensive experience in municipal government, and helped to clarify what bureaucratic maneuvers were being made by the developer to try to push the plan through. After setting a strategy in place at the PCN meeting, residents successfully pressured the town’s planning board to not renew an MOA with the developer, effectively killing the plan. Since the land is contiguous to the Pomona Woods Preserve, residents are now advocating for the land to be acquired and preserved by the Natural Lands Trust or Green Acres.
April Update: Pemberton Township was used as a case study to discuss how a couple of pending development proposals connect to larger trends in the Pinelands. Policy Director, Heidi Yeh, explained a few key concepts and institutions that govern development in the Pinelands, such as redevelopment laws and the Pinelands Commission. She also gave a tutorial of digital tools useful for learning more about the zoning and environmental characteristics of your town. PPA’s Public Lands Advocate, Jason Howell, then lead a strategy session to discuss ways that communities can resist these projects through grassroots organizing.
Pinelands Community Network: Campaign to Save the Pole Bridge Forest
(Pemberton Township, Burlington County)
Date: November 29 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: Pinelands Preservation Alliance, 17 Pemberton Rd, Southampton, NJ 08088
Join residents of Pemberton township and Pinelands advocates from the greater region to learn about the imminent threat that proposed developments pose to the Pole Bridge Forest. PPA staff will provide an overview of the history and natural resources of this property, describe ongoing strategies to oppose this development, and prepare residents to take action. Participants are encouraged to also attend the Pemberton Township meeting happening the following week on December 6. Light refreshments will be provided.RSVP below.
February: Residents gathered in the M Allan Vogelson Regional Branch of the Camden County Library System the evening of February 23 to discuss stormwater management and warehouse sprawl. Over soft pretzels from the Philadelphia Pretzel Factory, attendees shared stories of their own experiences of trying to engage with their local government on various issues. Staff from ANJEC, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, were also present to raise awareness about educational resources available to municipal environmental commissioners and the general public. Although individual action can be taken to reduce stormwater flooding (such as installing rain gardens), systemic changes (such as establishing regional stormwater utilities) are needed to protect people, property, and the environment from stormwater damage. Similarly, the most effective way to oppose poor warehouse siting is to proactively update outdated zoning rules. The evening’s discussion underscored the importance of getting engaged in the public meetings held in every municipality to put pressure on township officials to adopt best practices around stormwater management and warehouse siting that have been identified by state agencies.
Cape May County
September: Residents shared interests and concerns about open space in Cape May County. Jason Howell, Public Lands Advocate for PPA spoke about volunteer opportunities in state forests and parks, and Assistant Executive Director, Jaclyn Rhoads shared information about the Landscape Makeover Program.
To be announced.
Pinelands Community Network – Gloucester County
Date: November 28th, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Monroe Township Public Library, Meeting Room A. 713 Marsha Avenue, Williamstown, NJ 08094
Join your neighbors to discuss local development trends, such as warehouse and automobile auction lot sprawl. Learn about the impact that certain development has on the air, water, and quality of life in your town. Get equipped with the tools to engage with your municipal government and advocate for the well-being of town residents and the environment. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP below.
To be announced.
Questions? Contact Policy Director, Heidi Yeh by email at email@example.com or call her at 609-859-8860 ext 122.