Our most ardent supporters derive their passion from having experienced the Pine Barrens up close and personal through recreation.
Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) has launched Pinelands Adventures, a new paddling and outdoor exploration service. Our goal is to provide fun, informative nature experiences that bring people to love the Pinelands as much as we do.
Pinelands Adventures is located at 1005 Atsion Road in Shamong, the former site of Adams Canoe Rental. Pinelands Adventures will provide paddling trips on the Batsto and Mullica Rivers, as well as hikes and other land-based expeditions throughout the Pine Barrens.
Program offerings will include guided paddles and hikes, unguided canoe and kayak livery services, and all sorts of nature and history programs for families, individuals, schools and community groups.
Members of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance get 10% discount on trips – its our way of thanking you for making a charitable donation to support our work.
Why Pinelands Adventures?
As the primary advocate for Pinelands protection for more than 25 years, those of us involved with PPA are all too familiar with one big challenge. Despite the fact that the Pinelands is a globally unique ecosystem, is the largest area of protected open space on the eastern seaboard, harbors one of the cleanest aquifers in the world supplying people, plants and coastal bays with pristine fresh water -- and despite the multitude of recreational opportunities available here -- relatively few people have experienced the Pinelands up close and therefore come to really love this place.
[+ ZOOM] Tabitha Padilla from Urban Trekkers christens the SS Brendan T. Byrne at the opening of Pinelands Adventures. PPA
For many, it's that odd forest you drive through at 60 miles an hour on the way to the Jersey shore. It's the big area of green woods you see out the jet window as you fly in or out of Philadelphia International Airport, wondering “what is that down there?” It’s where the Jersey Devil lives.
While there are great historic attractions at Batsto Village, wonderful hiking trails like the Batona Trail, and parks and natural areas like Brendan Byrne State Forest and Franklin Parker Preserve, we recognize that much of the Pine Barrens is difficult to experience on your own. Without a guide or a starting point and some direction, the Pine Barrens can be intimidating.
Only public pressure can save the Pinelands from eventual destruction, and the more people appreciate the Pinelands from personal experience, the stronger that public pressure will be.
Our goal with Pinelands Adventures is to help you get to know the Pine Barrens by offering fun, informative and low-impact experiences. We hope these experiences inspire, educate and encourage even more people to become defenders of this very special place.
How did it happen?
When we realized that Wayne Adams had decided to sell his home and the canoe livery he ran for more than 40 years, we saw an opportunity to educate more people about the Pinelands in support of PPA’s conservation mission. We had just launched the Brendan T. Byrne Fund for the Pinelands, aimed at raising funds to make PPA more effective by getting more people actively engaged in defending the Pinelands. Through that effort we were able to connect with several foundations and convey our vision of building the public constituency for conservation through active recreation as well as helping more young people and underserved communities get into the outdoors for healthy, nature-based recreation.
The following foundations and companies have provided the grants that enabled PPA to create Pinelands Adventures:
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- William Penn Foundation
- Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
- The Carvel Foundation
- Holman Enterprises
- 1772 Foundation
- PSEG Foundation
We have been fortunate to find Rob Ferber, whom we hired as the founding director of Pinelands Adventures. Rob joined us after a 20-year stint managing Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA, a 300-acre family farm and one of the region’s largest agri-tourism businesses. He has great experience managing all aspects of a business like Pinelands Adventures.
Pinelands Adventures has also hired its first education director, John Volpa, who will start work in June. John is a retired biology and environmental science teacher who has led outdoor trips for schools, for PPA and for REI’s Outdoor School. He will organize a range of guided trips for the public, for schools and for community groups.
How do I learn more?
We hope you will join us on a paddling trip in the near future on the Batsto or Mullica rivers or on a future hiking or history program. We now have a great base of operations in Wharton State Forest. It’s an exciting time for us as we introduce new people to the Pinelands and our mission to protect it for future generations.
Visit the website for PinelandsAdventures.org. You can sign up on their email list so you are always in the know about special programs, events and other activities.
Also, connect with Pinelands Adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can contact Pinelands Adventures by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 609-268-0189.
Pinelands Adventures is located here.
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