The Appalachian Trail Community(TM) is a program launched in 2010 by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) -- the nonprofit organization responsible for management and protection of the Appalachian Trail (AT) -- to recognize and thank communities for promoting the AT as a vital local and national asset.
The ATC's Community Program Manager Julie Judkins has announced the official designation of Ellijay/Gilmer County, Georgia as the newest Appalachian Trail Community(TM).
In Julie's words: "The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail. 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."
A celebration marking the occasion is scheduled for 10 AM on Friday, September 14, 2012, at the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce Office, located at 696 First Avenue, East Ellijay, GA. There is no charge for the event and you are cordially welcome to attend.
Following the ceremony, Gene Espy will hold a book signing for his autobiography, "The Trail of My Life: the Gene Espy Story."
Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce President Paige Green said, "I am thrilled that Ellijay/Gilmer County is receiving the Appalachian Trail Community(TM) designation. As a community we are tied in a very undeniable way to the land and our natural resources. It is our greatest desire to promote the Trail and our resources while remaining good stewards. I want to personally thank Travis Crouch, the lead volunteer on the Ellijay/Gilmer County designation committee, and everyone who worked so hard on the process of becoming an A.T. Community."
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. Volunteers donate 220,000+ hours toward trail-related work each year.
The 75th anniversary of the completion of the AT occurred in 2012.
Only the most friendly and dedicated towns are appointed official Appalachian Trail Communities by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Published Dec 9, 2013.
Published Mar 11, 2013.