Abingdon, VA: An Appalachian Trail Community

ATC CEO Mark Wenger will speak at the Abingdon Celebration, Tuesday, September 11, 2012. (Photograph: Robert Sutherland)

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is the official guardian of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT).

In 2010, the ATC had the inspirational idea to begin the Appalachian Trail Community(TM) program, to celebrate areas that promote and protect the AT, and are good neighbors to hikers.

The ATC's website says designation and participation in the Appalachian Trail Community program has these goals:

  • Engage community citizens, trail visitors and stewards
  • Recognize and thank communities for their service to the trail and hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Help local community members see the trail as a resource and asset

The Town of Abingdon, the ATC and Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club encourage you to attend in the official designation of Abingdon as an Appalachian Trail Community on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. They've planned an evening of celebratory activities with presentations, vendors, live music and guest speakers.

This free event is scheduled to run from 4-7 PM.

Presentations include:

  • "Hikers and Bikers" at 4:00 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, One Partnership Circle in Abingdon.
  • Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the ATC, will talk about his 8-year AT section-hike
  • Lawrence Dye, Virginia Creeper Trail ambassador, will also speak about his bicycling experiences along the Virginia Creeper Trail.

The designation ceremony will begin at 6:00 PM at the Abingdon Farmers Market with messages from town leaders; Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the ATC; Laura Bellville, director of conservation of the ATC; and, Beth Merz, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area Ranger.

Following the presentation, attendees are invited to the Market Pavilion for local produce, light refreshments and live music.

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail," said 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."

Click Here for Abingdon's ATC Celebration Details

Click Here for AT Community Information

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Only the most friendly and dedicated towns are appointed official Appalachian Trail Communities by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.