Published Nov 26, 2014
According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), REI -- the "national outdoor gear and apparel retailer committed to connecting people with the outdoors" -- kindly gave ATC $25,000 to "support sustainable environmental practices along the Appalachian Trail (AT) particularly in the southern region, which is the most popular location to begin thru-hiking the 2,180-mile Trail."
Sure, the Trail is 2,185 miles long today and it will be 2,189.2 miles long in 2015 (trust me), but I wouldn't turn down that chunk of money for a minor infraction.
Instead, we want to express our thanks and gratitude for all the support REI has provided in the past and what we hope they'll offer in the future. Well played, REI. Well played, indeed.
When you're shopping for gear, please keep REI in mind.
Interest in hiking the A.T. is on the rise as a result of projects like "A Walk in the Woods," the film adaptation of Bill Bryson's best-selling memoir, scheduled to be released in 2015. It is expected the movie will result in a major increase in the number of A.T. hikers.
The grant from REI will help the ATC as it works to minimize any negative impacts from visitors by addressing litter, waste disposal, trail erosion, campsite use and backcountry facility maintenance and rehabilitation. The ATC will also work to communicate Leave No Trace practices through new channels, including training courses in communities along the Trail, and plans to increase the number of Ridge Runners in an effort to provide additional educational opportunities to hikers.
"A strong relationship between the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and its corporate partners is vital as we work to mitigate the impacts from an increase in the popularity of the Appalachian Trail," said Ron Tipton, executive director/CEO of the ATC. "The grant from REI will help us effectively manage any new threats that may emerge, and we are proud to have REI as a partner."
REI is dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. In communities across the country, REI partners with local and national nonprofits to help restore or maintain popular trails, parks and waterways. The company's recent grant to the ATC builds on a 10-year partnership. During that time, the ATC has continued to further its mission of preservation and management of the A.T. through trail management and support, conservation work, community engagement and educational initiatives.
"Expanding our partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy reinforces our commitment to connect our customers and their loved ones to inspiring outdoor places like the Appalachian Trail," said Taldi Walter, REI community affairs program manager. "We are proud to support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's conservation and education efforts so that adventures of all ages and abilities can experience the wonders of the Appalachian Trail."
At REI, we love to get outside and play, and we know first-hand the importance of quality outdoor gear. We stand behind all our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we design our own line of award-winning REI brand gear and clothing. Whether you're new to outdoor adventure or a seasoned pro, we gladly share our enthusiasm for our products--and the trails, slopes and waterways where we play.
Each year, REI donates millions of dollars to support conservation efforts nationwide and sends dedicated teams of volunteers--members, customers and REI employees--to build trails, clean up beaches, restore local habitats and more.... Through responsible business practices across the company, we strive to reduce our environmental footprint.
What began as a group of 23 mountain climbing buddies is now the nation's largest consumer cooperative. But no matter how large we grow, our roots remain firmly planted in the outdoors. Our passion for outdoor adventure is clear, whether you visit any of our stores across the country, phone us, or interact with us online.
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC 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.
Our friends at REI have excellent backpacking tips for beginners. Or, take a live course in how to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail at some REI locations.
On Thursday, February 2nd, the new REI in Milford, CT, will have a 90-minute class on how to plan your AT hike. Space is limited for this free class.
Finally! A free, three-hour course -- taught by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy -- where you will learn how to hike the Appalachian Trail!
Hikers during hunting season are advised to wear a bright orange hat, vest, shirt or coat, and to protect their dogs similarly.
The Appalachian Trail Festival in Duncannon, PA, is one of the best organized celebrations anywhere alone the Trail.