Harpers Ferry, WV (January 26, 2012) – Mike Fraatz has been selected to serve as the volunteer ambassador to New York. In this role, hewill serve as a community liaison to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the local volunteer club, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, to bolster volunteerism and stewardship of the Trail at the local level. The Appalachian Trail Community Ambassador opportunity is the first of its kind within the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) cooperative management partnership, and works through the ATC’s new Appalachian Trail Community™ program.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited about building off its volunteer base by providing A.T. Ambassadors to A. T. Communities to help increase local stewardship of public lands and support healthy lifestyles for community citizens,” stated Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager of the ATC.
Mike Fraatz earned a bachelors degree in wildlife conservation in 2010 from the University of Delaware, and has worked with the New York Americorps’ Student Conservation Association in Poughkeepsie.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the A.T. Towns, counties, and communities along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with local initiatives such as sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T.
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is approximately 2,185 miles in length, ranging from Maine to Georgia, making it one of the longest, continuously marked footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours each year on Trail-related work and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the completion of the A.T.
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.
About the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (nynjtc.org) is responsible for the maintenance and protection of the Appalachian Trail through New York and New Jersey. Its volunteers contribute thousands of hours of work each year to keep the A.T. and 1800 miles of other trails in the region open for public access.
Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x11
Email: [email protected]