Be a Trail Champion

April 22, 2019
Sona Mason
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

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Be a Trail Champion
Long Path and Highlands Trail Blazes. Photo by Sona Mason.

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While the Trail Conference’s nearly 100-year history is full of advocacy success stories, we do not fight these battles alone.

Our actions and voice are amplified when we work together— which is why we need you. On the advocacy front this winter, challenging weather did not prevent our staff and volunteers from traveling to Albany to represent the Trail Conference and discuss the issues and needs of trails and parks with New York State elected officials. One new volunteer traveled by train from Manhattan, while others spent the night before these “advocacy days” in hotels to ensure they did not miss this opportunity to be champions for the environment. Engaging our representatives in conversations about the importance of trails and parks makes a difference; these elected officials decide how funding should be allocated. If you would like to see this process in action or be a part of it, keep a lookout every January and February as we highlight upcoming advocacy days in our e-newsletter and at nynjtc.org/events.

In the meantime, we are growing our advocacy team to create a force to push back against threats to your trails, with current emphasis on the Long Path and Highlands Trail in Monroe, N.Y. A proposal to create the Village of Seven Springs near the recently formed town of Palm Tree poses an urgent threat to these long-distance trails. Should this land be intensely developed, as is the vision of the land owners and developers, access for the Long Path and Highlands Trail will be cut off. Our last shot at creating a greenway between Gonzaga Park and Orange and Rockland Lake is this sliver of undeveloped land. It’s the last possible link between Schunnemunk Mountain and Goosepond Mountain state parks, and a crucial safe passage for these two trails.

If you would like to be part of this team, email Sona Mason at [email protected].

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