Harpers Ferry, WV (June 05, 2013) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), along with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (NY-NJTC) invites the public to attend the official Appalachian Trail Community™ designation of Dover and Pawling, New York on June 15, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. The two communities, also known as the Harlem Valley A.T. Community™, will hold a ceremony at the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Boardwalk on Route 22. This event is free and open to the public.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ is a program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for the management and protection of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Working with a growing network of trailside community partners, the program recognizes and thanks communities for their part in promoting the A.T. as an important local and national asset as well as an international icon.
“Growing up in the Hudson Valley, I have a deep love and respect for the beauty of our landscape and rich history that surrounds us. This partnership between Dover and Pawling to promote and preserve our section of the Appalachian Trail with its official designation will only serve to benefit our area in the years to come. I am proud of the cooperation this represents and the extraordinary efforts of my constituents to collaborate and gain this recognition,” said Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19).
Stancy DuHamel co-chaired the working group responsible for the application, which has representatives from both town governments, four public and private schools and businesses, local and regional organizations. “A strong team came together, working countless hours over the last year, showing a collective enthusiasm for the project.”
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” said Julie Judkins, Resource Program Manager for 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.”
Honored guests and speakers at this event include U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson, Wendy Janssen, Superintendent of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Mark Wenger, Executive Director/CEO of the ATC; Karen Lutz, Regional Director of the ATC; Ryan Courtien, Town of Dover Supervisor; Dave Kelly, Town of Pawling Supervisor; Mary Kay Vrba, Executive Director of the Dutchess County Tourism; Edward Goodell, Executive Director of the NY-NJTC, and Karin Roux, Dutchess Land Conservancy Senior Land Projects Manager.
“This program has already initiated connections with an expanded network of organizations and citizens of these two Harlem Valley towns and is poised to engender even greater connections between the hiking and conservation communities and the two towns,” stated Ron Rosen representative of the NY-NJTC.
The event will feature music from Jay Erickson of Red Rooster, vendors, exhibitors, activities for kids, youth and families and guided interpretive hikes starting at 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Hikes are first come first serve, and limited to the first 25 participants. Hike descriptions and sign-up will be at the Welcome Table. Partners and exhibitors:
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy
- Dover Furnace
- Dutchess County Tourism
- Dutchess Land Conservancy
- Eastern Mountain Sports
- Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS)
- Harlem Valley Girl Scouts
- Madava Farms, Home of Crown Maple SyrupMetro-North Railroad
- Mid-Hudson Chapter, Trout Unlimited
- Mizzentop Day School
- Naromi Land Trust
- National Park Service
- Native Landscapes and Garden Center
- New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
- New York State Bluebird Society
- Oblong Land Conservancy
- Pawling Girl Scouts
- Pawling Nature Reserve
- Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club
“Metro-North Railroad congratulates Pawling and Dover Plains on being named an Appalachian Trail Community,” said Railroad President Howard Permut. “The railroad has long supported the hiking community and in the late 1980s built a whistle stop station on the Harlem Line were the tracks transect the Appalachian Trail in Dutchess County, NY. We also provide rail access to hiking trails at Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park. These hiking stops make it possible for someone who lives in New York City to be in the wilderness, on the Appalachian Trail, in under two hours.”
“These towns have interwoven within their comprehensive plans the Appalachian Trail corridor and its many contributions to the region's environment and identity. Dover and Pawling each valuethe Trail as an economic asset as well as a vital piece of a larger natural infrastructure that ties together Dutchess County through agriculture, environmental resources, historical preservation and tourism. It is also a unique place with regard to the A.T. as a whole: it is the only section of the entire Trail with its own train stop, thereby maximizing the number of visitors whocan experience its unique environmental heritage,” New York State Senator Terry Gipson.
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 a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.
For more information about the A.T. Community™ program, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/atcommunity. For more information about this event visit www.appalachiantrail.org/events.
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 about the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x11
Email: [email protected]