Partner Feature – Pinelands Preservation Alliance

Pinelands Preservation Alliance – Champions for Pinelands Protection

By Rachel Grace, Membership & Communications Associate

February 2024

If I were to tell you that New Jersey had a protected natural area that was 1.1 million acres in size (larger than Yosemite National Park) that protected 17 trillion gallons of clean water and provided habitat for rare and endangered species, would you believe me? The area that I am talking about is the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve; our Nation’s first. This reserve is home to farms, forests, wetlands, historic villages, and a variety of species of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, plants (including carnivorous plants), and of course, the iconic Pitch Pines! The waterways of the Pinelands provide numerous opportunities for adventures with kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, and the land provides a bounty of hiking trails and opportunities to camp, bike, and bird watch.

Back in 1989, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, a non-profit environmental organization, was created to be the leading voice for protecting the natural and historical resources of the New Jersey Pinelands. We advocate for enforcing and improving the Pinelands Protection Act and Comprehensive Management Plan as the best way to protect the Pinelands against sprawl, poorly designed development, and other abuses of land and water. We are advocates for the people, plants, and animals that call the Pinelands home.

Since 1989 our organization has evolved to be much more! We have created multiple initiatives that broaden our mission to protect and preserve the Pinelands. Pinelands Adventures was created to get people out exploring the Pinelands and educate them on this unique ecosystem. When people experience the beauty of the Pinelands first-hand, they are more likely to care for its protection. We offer self-guided tours, guided tours, and educational programming for schools. You can hike, kayak, or canoe with us! We even offer ADA-accessible trips because everyone deserves access to nature. You can learn more and take a tour with our passionate team leaders at Our outdoor adventure season opens in April.

Our other initiative is a delightful one called the Rancocas Creek Farm (RCF)… think fresh, local, chemical free vegetables that are sustainably grown on preserved farmland donated to the Pinelands Preservation Alliance in 2019. The goals for the Rancocas Creek Farm are to solve severe stormwater runoff into Vincentown Village and Rancocas Creek; heal damaged soils that do not infiltrate and treat stormwater as they should; create habitat for pollinators and grassland birds; and launch an economically productive chemical-free farm. We offer a Community Supported Agriculture share (CSA), where you purchase share and receive fresh produce weekly from June to October. We offer 10-week and 21-week shares where you get amazing value for your food dollar. Learn more at

The actions that are taken directly in and surrounding the Pinelands affect its natural resources too, which is why we created the Landscape Makeover Program with other non-profit and environmental partner organizations. Our goal is to increase the number of Green Stormwater Infrastructure installations in specific regions in New Jersey and reduce the amount of polluted runoff that goes into Pinelands’ waterbodies. We get municipalities and locals involved by installing dazzling rain gardens that address stormwater runoff all while promoting native plants and pollinator habitats! We offer installation rebates specific to location. You can learn more and see if you comply with the rebate at www.

Last but certainly not least, is our Access Nature Program. Think about the last time you went on a hike. Was the ground level or wide enough for a wheelchair to access? Was there any braille on the signs for blind individuals to use? Was there ADA parking available? The answer to these questions is most likely not. The Access Nature Program is allying with individuals with disabilities, organizations dedicated to the welfare of those with disabilities, and public and private landowning agencies to help overcome these barriers so everyone can enjoy the benefits of time in nature. There is an Access Nature Forum that is held frequently where you can learn about better ways to access nature and connect with the community. We created a website to view accessible trails all over New Jersey. You can learn more and get involved at

Phew! That was a lot, huh? The Pinelands Preservation Alliance has a lot going on and the Pinelands are at the heart of everything we do. We would love to see you whether that is on the trail, at an advocacy event, volunteering to clean up the pines, or visiting the Rancocas Creek Farm and HQ! Find out how to get involved at