The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking to fill 15 volunteer positions as Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Community Ambassadors. These ambassadors will support the A.T. Community program and their designated communities with outreach, education, local projects, events and initiatives in 2013. Applications are being accepted through Dec. 20.
Launched in 2010, the A.T. Community program recognizes and thanks communities for their role in promoting the A.T. as an important community, national and international asset. The program also assists communities with local initiatives such as sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T. experience.
Ambassadors played a key role on the local community level to bolster volunteerism and stewardship of the Trail. They coordinate and support events in their local community, reach out to non-traditional hiking audiences, and/or recruit local citizens to work on maintenance, management and conservation projects on the A.T.
This year’s ambassadors did everything from providing a series of classes and workshops for local residents, to leading hikes, including an African American History Hike in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which drew interest from across the region.
These positions offer volunteers the chance to gain experience in volunteer recruitment and coordination, play a key role in A.T. cooperative management partnerships, and make a difference in their own communities.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited about expanding its volunteer base by providing A.T. Ambassadors to designated A.T. communities who help increase local stewardship of public lands and support healthy lifestyles for community citizens,” said Julie Judkins, Community Program manager of the ATC.
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. Stretching from Georgia to Maine, the A.T. is approximately 2,180 miles in length, making it one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, and about two to three million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the completion of the A.T.