New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc.

aka New York - New Jersey Trail Conference   |   Mahwah, NJ   |  www.nynjtc.org

Mission

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a volunteer-powered organization that builds, maintains, and protects public trails. Together with our partners, we strive to ensure that the trails and natural areas we share are sustainable and accessible for all to enjoy for generations to come.

Ruling year info

1985

Executive Director

Joshua Howard

Main address

600 Ramapo Valley Rd

Mahwah, NJ 07430 USA

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EIN

22-6042838

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Recreational, Pleasure, or Social Club (N50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Trail Conference Conservation Corps (TCCC)

TCCC is an effective and efficient model for addressing land manager’s trail and land stewardship needs. Our trail crews have successfully repaired and built trails throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond in places like Sterling Forest State Park, Fahnestock State Park, Hudson Highlands State Park, Huckleberry Ridge State Forest, and along the A.T. in Bear Mountain State Park. TCCC provides outdoor service-learning opportunities for youth and adults interested in acquiring skills and
hands-on experience in: building and improving public trails; protecting native trail habitats; and recruiting and training community volunteers for service on public lands. TCCC members undergo a comprehensive training program, developing a diversified set of skills and knowledge and providing an active service engagement. Members receive a living allowance and are eligible for an educational award through the AmeriCorps program.

Not only does the TCCC develop new conservation-minded leaders for trail projects and ongoing trail stewardship, but it also engages community volunteers in making an immediate and positive impact on the quality of trails and lands in our region. TCCC improves trail and land quality by implementing sustainable building and restoration solutions. The TCCCs provide land managers with a cost effective solution to improve and repair trails within their parks.

Our program multiplies labor productivity by combining the efforts of a dedicated trail crew with a diverse group of volunteers, thus increasing the number of organized work trips, workshops, and volunteer opportunities, and providing a unique environment to receive training and on-the-ground experience. Our model enables individuals and groups to volunteer for a day and make a positive and meaningful contribution.

With park agencies stretched more thinly each year, the TCCC will provide much-needed resources to keep trails and our public lands open, safe, and enjoyable. As the leading trail organization in the region, we are uniquely positioned to help public agencies preserve the environmental integrity and responsible use of trails in a region stretching from NYC west to the Delaware Water Gap and north to beyond the Catskills.

A crew consists of 4 to 6 trained TCCC members, each committed to a 900-hour service engagement. Upon their arrival in May, we provide technical trail building skills, Wilderness First Aid, safety and tool use training as well as volunteer and project management training. During their hours of service, the crew focuses on improving the trails in HSP as well as recruiting, training and deploying community volunteers.

Population(s) Served

Overuse and misuse of the region’s most popular outdoor destinations are threatening the ecological integrity of these special places.
The New York metropolitan area is the most densely populated region in the country. With nearly 20 million people in the tri-state area, the most widely known hiking destinations are being overwhelmed with traffic, year after year. Popular trails like the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain were not originally designed or built to handle the enormous number of visitors.
Other destinations, like Giant Ledge and Slide Mountain in the Catskills, feature fragile summit ecologies that are in danger of irreparable damage from the increasing volume of users and illegal overnight camping.
Meanwhile, at popular front-country destinations such as Peekamoose Blue Hole, thousands of people are overwhelming this unique feature and negatively impacting the landscape. Visitors demonstrate a lack of understanding of Leave No Trace principles, which has led to a significant amount of litter and environmental damage. It has gotten so bad that the Blue Hole was identified as a Leave No Trace Hot Spot in 2017. A Hot Spot is a “natural area that is being negatively impacted by recreational use” and is “facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage.” In other words, the Blue Hole has now been nationally recognized as a place in danger of being loved to death.
In the Hudson Highlands, Breakneck Ridge—named a 2018 Hot Spot—is another location facing the threat of erosion and ecological damage from a tremendous amount of use. Not only do an estimated 100,000 hikers arrive each year looking to challenge themselves on the rocky scramble to the summit, but Breakneck has also been voted the most popular hike in North America.

Population(s) Served

The Invasives Strike Force involves surveying volunteers who are trained to identify 14 common invasive plants and advanced volunteers who can also identify 11 invasive plants which are just emerging as problems in our area. Surveying volunteers hike the trails and report where invasive plants are located. Our team will organize and run workdays during which invasive plants are removed, and we run a dedicated summer ISF Conservation Crew who perform surveys and removals throughout the summer.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The trail community in the greater New York metropolitan area is an inspiring movement. We are wanderers,hikers, runners, and riders of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We appreciate, respect, and deeply treasure the wealth of wild places reachable within just a few hours of home because we live in one the most amazingly cosmopolitan regions on Earth. Our life experiences may be worlds apart, but on the trail, we are united in our passion to connect with nature.

The founding of this movement runs parallel with the founding of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. In 1920, through the spirit of volunteerism, dedicated members of local hiking clubs created the Trail Conference to work alongside burgeoning park administrations and make newly preserved public lands accessible to everyone via blazed trail systems. Nearly 100 years later, our legacy of building, maintaining, and protecting trails and stewarding parklands as a volunteer-powered organization continues. Today, we don’t just serve as the hub of this trail community, we operate as one big Trail Family.

In 2017, a small staff coordinated and supported the work of over 2,100 volunteers across more than 180 parks. Together, we contributed more than 100,000 hours of labor. We cared for close to 2,200 miles of trails and the lands through which they pass. We advocated for the interests of trail users and nature lovers and are constantly seeking ways to improve your outdoor experience.

2,156 miles of trails maintained through 181 parks 26 counties served public and 75 private agency partners.

2,124 volunteers gave 94,010 hours to trails and parks
35 AmeriCorps members served 28,452 hours as the Trail Conference Conservation Corps
21 Trail Stewards assisted 88,329 trail users in 3 parks
8,476 members and 88 member clubs amplified your voice on issues affecting trails and parks

Route Easier-to-Navigate Trail Systems
The trails at Campgaw Mountain County Reservation, as well as underutilized trails in Norvin Green and Long Pond Ironworks state parks in New Jersey, were reconfigured into more user-friendly “loop trail” systems.
Build Multi-Use Trails
The new multi-use Hutchinson Trail officially opened in Sterling Forest State Park in March. It was built by members of the Palisades Trail Crew, including hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.
Create Safer Trails
A section of the Highlands Trail along Laroe Road in Chester, N.Y., was rerouted through Goosepond Mountain State Park, eliminating a road walk.
Reach New Trail Users
The 34-mile, urban-suburban Lenape Trail in Essex County, N.J., received numerous upgrades, including a full inventory and assessment of trail conditions, increased access with new signage in four parks, and an up-to-date map available in digital and print formats.

Financials

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/29/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Eddie Saiff

No Affiliation

Daniel Hoberman

Walt Daniels

Edward Saiff

Dave Stuhr

Ned Whitney

Patricia Wooters

Andrew Garrison

Beth Ravit

John Magerlein

Justin Bailey

Katina Grays

Kathy Nolan

Ken Posner

Susan Barbuto