Harrisonburg, VA (May 31, 2011) – On June 10, 2011, the city of Harrisonburg will be officially dedicated as an Appalachian Trail Community™. Speakers from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Harrisonburg Mayor Richard Baugh, and Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce President Frank Tamberrino, will lead the ceremony. The event will also feature two Harrisonburg locals, David and Michael Frazier, who recently completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).
The Appalachian Trail Community™ designation is a new program of the ATC, the non-profit manager of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.). Launched in 2010, this program recognizes communities for their part in promoting awareness of the A.T. as an important national and local resource. Towns, counties and communities along the A.T. corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers, and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” stated Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager of the ATC. “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.”
The designation ceremony will take place on the steps of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham General District Courthouse, located at 53 Court Sq. in Harrisonburg at 6:30. The event will be followed by the opening of Fridays on the Square. The annual Harrisonburg summer music and film festival is entering its 21st season and will feature the roots-rock band, Eric Brace and Last Train Home.
“It is a great opportunity for the Harrisonburg area and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to partner on promoting the scenic beauty and the amenities that both the Trail and Harrisonburg have to offer,” stated Frank Tamberrino, President of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate the Conservancy recognizing the historic and current relationship between the residents of Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley and the hikers and visitors on the Appalachian Trail.”
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials who were working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is 2,181 miles in length from Maine to Georgia, making it the longest, continuously marked footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 200,000 hours a year on trail-related work. About 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year. The ATC is focused solely on preserving and managing the A.T. to ensure that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.
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: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x 11
Email: [email protected]