New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


156 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430
County: Bergen


Ms. Jennis Watson

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

To support the New Jersey Community Trails program and its goals to engage volunteers, improve trail access, and enhance user access to nature by mobilizing public agencies, hiking clubs, and individual members. The guidance, training, and expertise of Trail Conference staff and volunteers allows for the development of high-quality, environmentally benign trails, even in ecologically and historically sensitive areas.

Organization Background

When outdoor enthusiasts formed the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to blaze the first section of the Appalachian Trail in the early 20th century, they set in motion a tradition of civic engagement in conservation, stewardship, and advocacy for open space that continues to this day. The staff and volunteers of the Trail Conference are dedicated to maintaining and protecting the nation's oldest network of hiking trails and trail lands. Our 10,000 members are active and influential voices for open space and 15% are working volunteers who collectively donate 70,000 hours of labor annually. This amounts to the equivalent work of 30 full-time employees. The Trail Conference maintains 2,000 miles of recreational trails in the greater New York metropolitan area.

Stewardship of New Jersey's recreational paths requires an understanding of current best practices in trail design, construction, and maintenance. With park agency resources stretched thin, our experienced, skilled volunteers provide much-needed labor and resources to fill the gap and conserve taxpayer resources.

The Trail Conference is led by Executive Director, Ed Goodell, who holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Skidmore College and masters in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University. His previous position as Director of Federal Programs within the Sponsored Programs unit of the Louisiana Board of Regents included developing and managing a diverse array of region-wide, multi-party programs involving collaborations among professionals, volunteers and public/private partnerships, with funding of almost $30 million in federal, state and private funds.

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