Abingdon, Virginia Designated an Appalachian Trail Community™

Abingdon, VA, August 31, 2012 --(PR.com)-- On September 11, 2012, from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will celebrate the official designation of Abingdon, Virginia as the newest Appalachian Trail Community™. The Town of Abingdon, in conjunction with the ATC and the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club, has planned an evening of celebratory activities including presentations, vendors, live music and guest speakers. This event is open and free to the public.

A presentation entitled “Hikers and Bikers” will commence at 4:00 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center located at One Partnership Circle, Abingdon, VA. Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the ATC, will talk about his 8-year section-hike along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), which was completed in 2011. Lawrence Dye, Virginia Creeper Trail ambassador, will also speak about his bicycling experiences along the Virginia Creeper Trail. Dye has logged approximately 170,000 miles along the Virginia Creeper Trail since the 1990s.

Following the presentation, attendees are invited to the Abingdon Farmers Market located at the Abingdon Market Pavilion at 100 Remsburg Drive, Abingdon, VA for light refreshments and live music. Local produce will also be available for purchase until 7:00 p.m.

The designation ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Abingdon Farmers Market. Speakers will include town leaders and dignitaries such as Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the ATC; Laura Bellville, director of conservation of the ATC; and Beth Merz, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area ranger.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” said 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.”

The Appalachian Trail Community™ is a new program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for management and protection of the A.T. Launched in 2010, this program recognizes and thanks communities for their part in promoting the A.T. as an important local and national asset.

Event Overview
Abingdon, Virginia A.T. Community Designation Ceremony
Date: September 11, 2012
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

“Hikers and Bikers” Presentation: Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, One Partnership Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210
Designation Ceremony: Abingdon Market Pavilion, 100 Remsburg Drive, Abingdon, VA 24210

Program Schedule:
4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.: “Hikers & Bikers” presentation
5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Live music, refreshments and vendors
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: A.T. Community Designation Ceremony

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. Stretching from Georgia to Maine, the A.T. is approximately 2,180 miles in length, making it one of the longest, continuously marked footpaths in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, 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.

If interested in attending the ceremony, please contact Tenille Montgomery at 276.676.2282 or via e-mail at tmontgomery@abingdon-va.gov. For more information about the Appalachian Trail Community™ program, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/atcommunity.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 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 about the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.

Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x11
Fax: 828.254.3754
Email: jjudkins@appalachiantrail.org
Web: www.appalachiantrail.org
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Javier Folgar