Campaign in Motion: Darlington Schoolhouse-Bolger Challenge Progress Report

dsh thermometerWe are making great progress and want to thank everyone who is helping us raise the funds to restore the Darlington Schoolhouse as a conservation training center and new home for our 92-year-old organization.

So far we have raised $699,256 in pledges from the March 1 Bolger Challenge start date. ( We need to raise an additional $1 million in pledges before Nov. 1, 2013). Have you made your gift to help the Trail Conference’s Bolger Foundation Challenge?

Corporate Donors:
Inserra Supermarkets, Inc., a family-owned business operating 21 ShopRite stores throughout New York and New Jersey, has pledged to the schoolhouse campaign and has chosen to name the Trail Conference’s future Headquarter’s Kitchen and Break Room.

Special Thanks for Tribute and Naming Opportunities To Date:
Named: Geothermal Climate Control                 Named: Executive Director’s Office
Named: Ramapo Reservation Trail                     Named: Wood Turtle Habitat
Named: New Addition Entry Foyer                     Named: Small Meeting Room
Named: Larry Wheelock Trail                              Named: Riparian Landscaping and
Crew Tool Room                                                        Interpretation
Named: Darlington Preserve Viewpoint
Named: Kitchen and Break Room

Honor Wall Opportunity:
Gifts of $1,000 or more to the Darlington Schoolhouse project will be recognized on our Honor Wall, directly over the main vestibule when entering the building. Contributions at all levels will be recognized in Trail Walker and on our website.

22-Plus-Mile Benefit Hike: Trails connecting from Darlington Schoolhouse to U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Visitor Center:
Mellonie Sanborn, accompanied by three other Trail Conference members–Ed DiSalvo, Irene and Gary Auleta–completed a 22-plus-mile hike to benefit the schoolhouse campaign on July 20. The crew completed the hike in 10.25 hours, during a heat wave, and collected more than $3,500, which will go towards the Bolger Challenge.

Timeline for Trail Conference’s very green construction:
Plans are to go out to bid for construction in August to have a contract signed for September.

Bergen County is working with the Trail Conference to construct a pedestrian sidewalk on both sides of Ramapo Valley Road between Darlington Schoolhouse and Ramapo College.

The Trail Conference has chosen geothermal, a green alternative energy source, as its main source of heating and cooling of the building.

Raising Awareness for the Darlington Schoolhouse Project and Getting More People Involved:
Franklin Lakes and Mahwah residents were able to see a showcase of our work and history of both the Trail Conference and the Darlington Schoolhouse project at the Franklin Lakes Library.  The exhibit will be traveling to the Mahwah Library during September through October. Stop by and tell us how it looks!

Thank you to the members of the Bergen Highlands Ramsey Rotary Club and Saddle River Valley Lions Club for their interest in the Darlington Schoolhouse restoration. The  Bergen Highlands Ramsey Rotary Club has pledged towards the campaign and will be naming the headquarters Small Meeting Room.

Information about the Darlington Schoolhouse project and how to make your gift or help us raise the remaining funds can be found on our website and can be found at various retail partner stores, libraries, and nature centers. Brochures can also be found at local farmers markets, on Mahwah Day, and Mahwah Park Day.   To our Trail Conference members outside of Bergen County, can you bring the Trail Conference to your local farmers market or events?  If you are interested, contact Jennifer Easterbrook 201.512.9348 x24 or jennifer@nynjtc.org

About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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