Duncannon, PA (May 1, 2012) – On June 2nd, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will celebrate the official designation of Duncannon, Pennsylvania as the newest Appalachian Trail Community™. Event activities will begin at 8:30am at area trailheads with hikes sponsored by local hiking groups with the designation festival titled “Saving Our Community from Nature Deficit Disorder”. The designation festival will begin at noon at the Borough on Cumberland St. Activities include live music, vendors, workshops, presentations and raffle – followed by a ceremony at 2:45pm.
The community is working collaboratively to bring awareness to the Trail and to their respective community highlighting the Trail as a national resource and international icon. During the ceremony the ATC and town leaders will speak with a proclamation signing and an unveiling of new community signs.
"Each year, municipal leaders, members of the Boy and Girl Scouts, Trail Angels, local citizens, and members of the school community take a great deal of pride in making Duncannon part of the Trail by offering a unique experience for those passing through a community nestled along the sparkling Susquehanna River. It is indeed an honor to be one of a small number of towns through which the Trail directly passes," wrote Daniel Sheats, Superintendent of Schools, in his letter supporting the community designation.
The event will also announce the winners of the 4th grade postcard art contest, and will be made available for sale at the area’s local businesses.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ designation is a new program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for management and protection of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Launched in 2010, this program recognizes communities for their part in promoting awareness of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) as an important local and national asset.
Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community™ and participation in the program is aimed to
- Engage community residents, Trail visitors, and stewards
- Thank communities for their decades of service to hikers
- Act as a catalyst for sustainable economic development
- Aid municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning initiatives
- Promote the Trail as a community resource and asset
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” states 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.”
A Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee was formed to process the community’s application, and will continue to work on behalf of the outdoor recreation and natural assets in the area. The committee is also planning improved river access and downtown beautification through their support of Apple Tree Alley, a proposed site plan that would transform the underused old railroad right-of-way corridor into a new space for community use and serve as the route of the A.T. in Duncannon, guiding hikers through a town park to connect them with amenities, river access points and businesses.
“Each hiker experiences not only a piece of America as they stroll Duncannon's sidewalks, but also senses the welcoming atmosphere innate to the neighborhood.” Karen Balaban, President Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club.
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 2,180 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.
For more information about this event visit www.duncannonappalachiantrailcommunity.com. For more information about the Appalachian Trail Community™ program visit www.appalachiantrail.org/atcommunity.
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 x11
Email: [email protected]