Harpers Ferry, WV (August 26 2013) – This summer, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) was named “charity of the week” by The Week magazine. Each charity featured in The Week has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator which rates non-profits on the strength of their finances, control of development and administrative finances, and transparency of their operations. Four stars is the highest rating that Charity Navigator provides.
The Week recognized the ATC for their unique cooperative management system, as well as their extensive network with volunteers, trail clubs, and ridgerunners. The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is managed under a unique partnership between the public and private sectors that includes the National Park Service (NPS), the USDA Forest Service (USFS), and an array of state agencies, all of which work together to protect and maintain the Trail and the 250,000 acres of greenway the surround it.
The ATC works with 31 local Trail-maintaining clubs to manage more than 6,000 volunteers that contribute roughly 230,000 hours to the A.T. every year. Volunteers conduct trail maintenance, build and repair shelters and other structures, protect the Trail corridor, monitor and manage rare plants and invasive species, and develop management plans for their trail sections. The ATC also recruits, trains, and leads volunteer Trail crews to work on large-scale projects, such as relocations, treadway rehabilitation, and bridge and shelter construction.
Each year more than 30 ATC-supported ridgerunners and caretakers are hired by the ATC, one of the A.T maintaining clubs or one of the land-managing agency partners. Those seasonal ridgerunners and caretakers interact with tens of thousands of Trail visitors every year, providing them with information on the Trail and how to minimize their impact on Trail resources.
“Being named charity of the week by such an enterprising and well-read magazine is a great honor for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. We are immensely appreciative of the recognition our work has received,” said Royce Gibson, director of development at the ATC.
The Week also highlighted the ATC’s youth programs and stewardship of the Trail. The Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program is a professional development program for K-12 teachers that provides educators with the tools and training for place-based education and service-learning on the A.T. Launched in 2006, in partnership with the National Park Service, the program offers educators resources needed to engage their students in their local community and develop an experiential learning curriculum. To date, TTEC has trained over 250 teachers and impacted the lives of 17,000 students.
The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine. Roughly 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year, with most visitors living less than an hour from the Trail. The A.T. was completed in 1937 and is a unit of the National Park System.
The Week is a news magazine that provides various perspectives concerning the week’s domestic and international headlines. The magazine aggregates news from a variety of editorial sources and global media to supply multiple political viewpoints.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Email: [email protected]