Our Parks

Why are we here?

Did you know that the trails JORBA stewards are either rarely (or never) maintained by park employees? It's a common misconception, but even many of us once believed that trails in NJ were built and maintained by paid staff. They're usually not. In these tough economic times most state and local budgets are tighter than ever, and its the dedication of volunteers that keeps trails maintained. And this brings us to JORBA's 'raison d'ĂȘtre', or the reason JORBA is here: to foster volunteerism and a dedication to better trails.

We're all cyclists and love to ride on great trails, but that meant usually leaving the state for great trails or riding in a small handful of parks that had existing legacy fire roads and small stretches of good trails. Because we wanted more trails closer to home, JORBA decided to make a difference. In 1998 we started with just a few parks and have been growing ever since. Many of our current Park Representatives started out by working at, and learning from, trail maintenance sessions at other parks. They then moved on to adopt their own park and grow their local riders into a reliable volunteer pool. And the success shows: think about how much better the trails are today compared to just 5 years ago, and you can see the positive impact that JORBA's band of merry volunteers has had. Thanks to the support and word of mouth of people like you, JORBA has been able expand to more parks and attract more volunteers!

How did we get here?

JORBA volunteers took the initiative to talk with Land Managers and develop a relationship with them. This might sound simple, but its quite the opposite. Usually the question, "may we build trails in your park?" is met with silence, or not the response we'd like. That's because a good relationships with a Land Manager may take years to grow, and trust needs to be earned slowly and patiently. Many people find that they have an attention span that is far less than the pace at which a Land Manager tends to approve new projects. New projects need to be discussed in detail, proposed routes flagged and inspected, and GPS way points submitted to NJDEP offices in Trenton. This takes time and patience, and approval from the park needs to be received long before the first trail building tool hits the dirt.

With this in mind, what started out as small dis-jointed, individual volunteer groups (mostly cycling clubs) has grown into a statewide organization. By pooling our talents JORBA has become NJ's unified voice of off-road bicycling, trail work and advocacy.

How do I get involved??

It's pretty simple: check the JORBA calendar (http://jorba.org/calendar)and identify a trail work session at a park near you. Once you've found a session that fits into your schedule, simply show up at one these sessions and talk to one of our friendly park reps.

To find a park near you check our park directory (http://jorba.org/parks) or use our Google map (http://www.jorba.org/JORBA_Parks)

Besides trail work, there are many other ways to get involved if work/family prevent you from coming out to a trail work session. Please contact us at development -at- jorba.org and tell us about your particular talents, and/or an area that you would like to assist, and we'll happily find you task!