The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announced yesterday that it has just received a $20,000 grant from REI, a national outdoor retailer, to support the ATC's Volunteer Leadership Meeting held this August.
Ninety leaders from the ATC's 31 Trail Club affiliates will attend the two day meeting to focus on volunteer leadership development. Participants will learn about volunteer recruitment and retention, Trail history and culture, and the role of technology and social media. The event will take place from August 10 to 12 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
REI has provided support to the ATC for nearly a decade. Annually, REI dedicates a portion of its operating profits to support and participate in outdoor volunteerism — working with hundreds of nonprofit organizations in communities across the country.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to have supporters like REI to help further train and develop the future leaders and stewards of the Appalachian Trail,” said Mark Wenger, executive director of the ATC.
REI stores in Georgia and Virginia have conducted many Leave No Trace workshops for volunteers. Last year the Asheville REI store hosted the Radical Reels Tour, donating all proceeds to the ATC. REI staff has also assisted several times with the ATC's Trail to Every Classroom program training.
“At REI we are committed to living active lives in the outdoors and caring for the places where we recreate,” said Ray Dinterman, REI retail director. “In partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, we bring our stewardship ethic to life by working side-by-side with our members, employees and entire communities maintaining one of our country’s most treasured resources, the Appalachian Trail.”