On March 17th, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) celebrated Waynesboro, Virginia, as it became the newest city in the Appalachian Trail Community. Volunteers, businesses and organizations of Waynesboro have long been committed to supporting the Appalachian Trail and its hikers.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s community designation for Waynesboro strengthens the City’s effort in becoming a premier outdoor recreation destination,” said Katie McElroy, Waynesboro’s Tourism Director.

The Appalachian Trail Community designation is a new program created by the ATC, which is the nonprofit organization responsible for the management and protection of the Appalachian Trail. The program recognizes communities who raise awareness and promote the trail.

Conservation efforts like this are available throughout the United States. With 2,180 miles, the Appalachian Trail running from Georgia to Maine, there are ample opportunities to get involved.

Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community and participation in the program is aimed to:

  • Engage community residents, Trail visitors, and stewards
  • Thank communities for their decades of service to hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for sustainable economic development
  • Aid municipalities and regional areas with local conservation and planning efforts
  • Promote the Trail as a community resource and asset

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” states Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “These new partnerships will increase local stewardship of public lands, support community initiatives for sustainable economic development and conservation planning as well as support healthy lifestyles for community citizens.”

For more information, visit the ATC’s website at www.appalachiantrail.org.

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