"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited about building off its volunteer base by providing A.T. Ambassadors to designated 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.
Christine Lauriello is a life long resident of Boiling Springs, and is vice president of the Cumberland Valley A.T. Club. She is president of the Friends of South Middleton Parks, Trees, and Trails, and is an avid hiker. She is married and has two children.
Paul Smith has lived in Duncannon, PA for four years and has lived in the area since 1984. Paul is a valuable asset to the Mountain Club of Maryland, the Susquehanna A.T. Club and the A.T. Community of Duncannon. He is serving as the chair for the entertainment committee of the Duncannon A.T. Community designation ceremony scheduled for June 2, 2012. He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, gardening, and planting trees.
The Appalachian Trail CommunityTM 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 A.T. Community Ambassador opportunity is the first of its kind within the A.T. cooperative management partnership.
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.