"This is just one of many exciting changes that we are working on before we open the museum for its second season on Saturday, April 2," said Larry Luxenberg. president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society. "Second phase development and new exhibits are being planned, and we have an extensive effort underway to offer programs on Sunday afternoons for all ages, especially children. Of course, all of this takes resources."
Luxenberg said the museum board of directors and others are actively seeking financial contributions in order to receive a $50,000 matching grant that has been offered to the museum. In order to receive the $50,000, a like amount needs to be raised from other sources. The Appalachian Trail Museum depends completely on private donations for operating funds.
Equally important is the need for volunteers to serve as museum docents, maintenance team members and program leaders. Luxenberg said program leaders will educate the public, inspire young people, entertain children, preserve the Appalachian Trail's natural environment, spotlight the trail's rich history, acknowledge the trail's pioneer hikers, and in general celebrate all those who contribute to the Appalachian Trail community.
Gwen Loose, program chair for the museum, said preliminary plans for season two programs include:
- Story-telling, songs and activities for children
- Arts and crafts on the Appalachian Trail (photography, painting, handcrafts)
- Natural features of the Appalachian Trail
- Trail maintenance techniques
- Hiker skills and equipment - past and present
- Shelter building
- History of Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs
- Pioneer hiker profiles and why they are important
- First person hiking experiences and accomplishments
Other topics are invited, and they may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Anyone interested in being an Appalachian Trail Museum volunteer may respond to email@example.com or 717-486-4083.
Additionally, Loose said there probably will be hikes led by program leaders who will tie a hike to a specific topic, such as plants and other life along the Appalachian Trail.
Luxenberg said that when the museum held its grand opening on June 5, 2010, complete with state and Appalachian Trail Conservancy dignitaries, more than 750 attended and this was a terrific start. During its first season, from June through October 2010, the Appalachian Trail Museum attracted 8,300 visitors from across the United States and internationally. It also drew praise from the media and tourism officials.
Located in a 200-year-old, restored grist mill in historic Pine Grove Furnace State Park and at the midway point of the 2,181-mile-long Appalachian Trail, the museum is across from the Pine Grove General Store on Pennsylvania Route 233 in Cumberland County.
About the Appalachian Trail Museum Society
The Appalachian Trail Museum Society, a 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization formed in 2002, organizes programs, exhibits, volunteers and fundraising nationwide for the Appalachian Trail Museum. The museum opened on June 5, 2010, as a tribute to the thousands of men, women and families who have hiked and maintained the 2,181 mile long hiking trail that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. Located in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, Pennsylvania, the museum is conveniently near Carlisle, Gettysburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Additional information is available at www.atmuseum.org.
MEDIA CONTACT - Joe Patterson - Appalachian Trail Museum Society