On April 19th, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will celebrate the official designation of Buena Vista and Glasgow, Virginia as the newest Appalachian Trail Communities. A full day of celebratory activities is planned, starting in Buena Vista at 10:00am at the Buena Vista Visitor’s Center, followed by a ceremony at the Hiker Shelter in Glasgow at 1:30pm. The two communities are working collaboratively to bring awareness to the Trail and to their respective communities about the national resource. The ATC and town leaders will speak, with a proclamation-signing and an unveiling of new community signs.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ designation is a new program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for management and protection of the estimated 2,180-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Launched in 2010, this program recognizes communities for their part in promoting awareness of the Appalachian Trail as an important local and national asset.
Glasgow and Buena Vista’s designation day will include live music, picture slideshow, prizes and cake. “Buena Vista is excited to have been selected as an Appalachian Trail Community. We are eager to share our community with hikers and other AT enthusiasts and we look forward to working together to promote and protect this wonderful resource and asset,” stated Pat Ohleger of Celebrate Buena Vista.
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.”