Promoting the Great Outdoors

There’s a new website focusing on eco tourism in South Jersey that even lets you spread the word about your own favorite outdoor spots in the region.

The seeds for were planted three years ago when the South Jersey Tourism Corporation was looking for a way to promote the great outdoors.

“We had been talking to a couple of consultants and realized was very nice website to get visitors to check out history and arts in South Jersey, but there wasn’t much there in terms of ecotourism,” says John Seitter, president of the South Jersey Tourism Corporation (SJTC). “Any time we had done research, one of the first topics that came up as far as our assets was eco tourism.” Those areas include the 1.1 million acre Pinelands, which is one of the largest ecosystems east of the Mississippi River.

“You can literally go from Atlantic City, New York City, or Philadelphia and within an hour and a half be in a place where there’s no towns, no sounds, just the great outdoors,” he says.

The result is, which was funded by grants from the William Penn Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. It allows visitors to pick their outdoor activity – whether it’s biking, camping, or visiting local wineries – and explore information on South Jersey within that category.

The website is also interactive. SJTC runs and maintains the site, but eco-outlets can add to and update their listings, and visitors can share their experiences at various sites through the region.

While SJTC technically promotes Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, and Salem counties in South Jersey, goes beyond to include Cape May, Cumberland, and Ocean counties. “Even that will eventually expand. Visitors do not pay attention to geographic lines,” says Seitter.  (The website is officially called “South Jersey Forever Green,” but the web address leaves open the possibility of going statewide.)

The site officially launched on May 14, and they’re still working out a few kinks. If you use the site, drop us a comment about what you like and don’t like (and share your stories on their site, too!)

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