The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has received a significant donation from The Volgenau Foundation to work with communities toward the protection of lands, waters and unique cultural features of the most important landscape east of the Mississippi, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) and its surrounding lands.
“The Volgenau Foundation has established leadership in recognizing the vital and timely need to make certain that the Appalachian Trail, one of America’s great icons, and surrounding lands are preserved for generations to come,” said Suzanne Dixon, president and CEO of the ATC.
The Foundation's investment will support the A.T. Landscape Partnership, a dedicated coalition of local, state and federal partners led by the ATC and the National Park Service. This coalition works to educate and engage Appalachian communities to protect a high quality of life and to support recreation-based rural economies.
Noted for being one of the longest footpaths in the world, the A.T. extends 2,191 miles along the crest of the Appalachian Mountain Range through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. The natural, historic and cultural resources of the Trail corridor and adjacent lands are essential to millions of residents in the eastern United States. These landscapes are important for sustaining clean water and air, maintaining wildlife migration patterns and preserving our country’s cultural and historic resources.
More than half of America’s population resides within a day’s drive of some part of the A.T. and visitors travel from around the world to experience a hike through the Appalachian Mountains. Hundreds of communities along the Trail benefit from strong and healthy recreation-driven travel, with more than 3 million people visiting the A.T. every year.
The Volgenau Foundation was launched in 1994 to pursue greater protection for natural resources, better education opportunities for children and greater exposure to the arts.