Rangeley, Maine Designated an Appalachian Trail Community

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy annouces the official designation of Rangeley, Maine.

Rangeley, ME, September 12, 2012 --(PR.com)-- The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will celebrate the official designation of Rangeley, Maine as the newest Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Community™ on September 15, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., at Pond Street in Rangeley, Maine. This event is free and open to the public.

Several demonstrations will be held throughout the course of the day that focus on outdoor safety, preparation, and ethics. Festival participants will have the opportunity to learn about wilderness first aid, primitive survival skills, Leave No Trace principles and much, much more.

The A.T. Community™ designation ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Haley Pond Gazebo. Honored guests and speakers include Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the ATC; Judy Morton, executive director of the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce; Tim Kane, town manager of Rangeley, Maine; Hawk Metheny, New England regional director of the ATC; Clare Long, National Park Service liaison for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Carole Hass, executive director of the Maine A.T. Land Trust; and Dan Simonds, member of Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC).

A variety of local outdoor clubs and organizations will also have booths set up along Pond Street throughout the course of the event. Other festival highlights include a hiker reunion, an ice cream eating contest, a bonfire and a street dance.

“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 ATC. “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.

“The support and hospitality the town of Rangeley provides to A.T. hikers reinforces Maine’s commitment to this national treasure,” said Lester Kenway president of the MATC.

"We have been thrilled with the amount of support for this new partnership,” said Judy Morton, executive director of the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce. “From educators, to businesses, to town government and the A.T. community, people in Rangeley are really pulling together to make this an outstanding celebration of the A.T. There will be exhibitors, demonstrations, a variety of entertainment, games and hikes, as well as a wonderful dedication ceremony.”

Event Overview
Rangeley, Maine A.T. Community Designation Festival
Date: September 15, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Pond Street, Rangeley, Maine

Program Schedule:
Activities (10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Boot Throw
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Fox Walking
2:00 p.m. – Thru-hiker and Section-hiker Reunion
3:00 p.m. – Ice Cream Eating Contest
6:00 p.m. – Bonfire and Street Dance with bluegrass band Sandy River Ramblers

Demonstrations (10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
10:30 a.m. – Wilderness First Aid, NorthStar EMS
11:00 a.m. – What To Do If Lost, Reggie Hammond, game warden for the State of Maine
11:30 a.m. – Leave No Trace, Steve Masse, MATC caretaker for Piazza Rock shelter on the A.T.
12:00 p.m. – Trail Food, Steve Masse and John Towey, former A.T. thru-hikers
12:30 p.m. – Land Acquisition and the Future, Carole Hass, executive director Maine A.T. Land Trust
2:30 p.m. – Condition Your Body, Jeff Hawksley, with Rangley Region Health and Wellness
4:00 p.m. – High Peaks Alliance, Ben Godsoe, with High Peaks Alliance

Book Signings (11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – David Field, “Along Maine’s Appalachian Trail”
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Drew Barton “Land Acquisition and the Future”

A.T. Community Designation Ceremony (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Outdoor Exhibits (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
– Maine A.T. Land Trust
– High Peaks Alliance
– Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust
– Rangeley Ski Club
– Northern Forest Canoe Trail
– Rangeley Lakes Region School Outing Club
– Hyperlite Mountain Gear
– Primitive Survival Skills

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.

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