National Trails Day, June 3, 2023: A Call to Public Participation by NJ's Commissioner LaTourette
NEW JERSEY - The Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Shawn M. LaTourette, is inviting the public to participate in over 30 recreational, educational, and stewardship events scheduled across the state this Saturday, June 3, to commemorate National Trails Day.
The DEP's mission is to broaden the state’s already remarkable trail network to ensure that all residents, irrespective of location or skill level, can benefit from the healthy, restorative, and educational advantages of trails. National Trails Day events will include nature hikes, trail maintenance and cleanup projects, outdoor safety, and stewardship activities. The DEP hopes these activities will foster a deeper appreciation for the state’s natural beauty and diversity.
New Jersey officially recognized National Trails Day last year, through Executive Order No. 298, as part of an effort to highlight the importance of equitable outdoor recreation and conservation. This recognition accompanies the launch of Outside, Together!, an initiative led by diverse voices to focus on future investment in conservation and recreational open spaces in the state.
New Jersey is home to over 4,000 miles of public trails that traverse various environments, providing fitness opportunities, nature study, links to New Jersey’s historic past, and economic boosts to regional tourism.
John Cecil, DEP Commissioner for Parks, Forests & Historic Sites, encourages residents to participate, stating, “Trails Day events are designed to accommodate all levels of interest, experience and age and are sure to inspire many on the path to years of outdoor fun, adventure and appreciation.”
A wide variety of events will be available for participants, ranging from attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies to more physically challenging hikes, from lending a hand in park cleanups to learning how to navigate trails using a map and compass. For a full list of events and to sign up, visit the National Trails Day event website: https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/find-an-event/
As part of the Outside, Together! initiative, a plan will be presented to the National Park Service later this year, providing a 5-year framework for enhancing open spaces, ecotourism, equity and environmental justice in New Jersey.
Elizabeth Dragon, DEP Commissioner for Community Investment and Economic Revitalization, celebrates the role of trails in connecting communities and enhancing the quality of life for New Jersey residents.