Harpers Ferry, WV (June 20, 2012)
– The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from the American Express Foundation to support the Appalachian Trail Community™ program.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Towns, counties and communities along the A.T. are considered assets by hikers, and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation while preserving and protecting the A.T. To date, the ATC has designated 21 communities and plans to designate another six in the upcoming year.
“At American Express, supporting the communities that our employees and customers live and work is integral to our business and role as a corporate citizen,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “This partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy gives us the opportunity to recognize communities that are supporting and preserving the Appalachian Trail, an important environmental and historical icon of the Eastern United States.”
Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community™ and participation in the program is aimed to engage community residents, Trail visitors and stewards, and thank communities for their decades of service to hikers. Participation in the program will act as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, aid municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning initiatives and promote the Trail as a community resource and asset.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to have the opportunity to support our Appalachian Trail Community program,” said Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “Thanks to organizations like the American Express Foundation, we are able to increase capacity and resources to our trailside communities.”
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 footpaths 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 the Appalachian Trail Community™ program visit www.appalachiantrail.org/atcommunity
. About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Historic preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express’ involvement in the community, reflecting the company’s recognition of the importance of cultural sites and monuments as symbols of national and local identity, and the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods. Learn more at americanexpress.com
and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress
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Contact: Caitlin Lowie
Corporate Affairs and Communications
Email: [email protected] About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's 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 visitwww.appalachiantrail.org
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Email: [email protected]