Grant Money for AT Communities!!

KEEN Effect Grant for increasing responsible outdoor participation. [Due Dec. 6] Approximately 25 non-profit organizations around the world will be granted a total of $100,000 to bring their projects to life. Projects that introduce new audiences to the outdoors through responsible outdoor participation will receive special consideration.

Basic Requirements: Project must:
– increase responsible outdoor participation as a way to work towards building a strong community
– begin in early 2014 and must be completed by September 2014.
– be innovative and creative.
– have clear goals and measurable objectives.

Project leads must:
– be willing to interact with KEEN online and should leverage social media technology as appropriate.
– be capable of working collaboratively with KEEN throughout the program process
– provide a minimum of five high resolution photos in project reports

Franklin’s Membership Movie Success!

Designated Trail Town, Franklin, N.C., hosted a 2013 ATC Membership Drive event October 18, 2013 in the newly constructed Drake Education Center.  Over 80 tickets were sold to the gala evening event featuring Bill & Sharon Van Horn – Franklin’s latest hikers to complete the AT, a Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) display table with local hike information, refreshments donated by Rosebud Cottage, Life’s Bounty Bakery, Rathskeller Pub, Main Street Coffee, Boiler Room Restaurant and club members, a Trail to Every Classroom student artwork display, guest speaker and author, Amy Allen and the film showing of Appalachian Impressions.  The enthusiastic crowd of young and old enjoyed answering rapid fire Trail Trivia questions and testing their luck on the many raffle items donated by local businesses: Harmony House foods, Smokey Mountain Bike Shop, Three Eagles Outfitters, and Outdoor 76.  Franklin Ambassador, Mary Bennett, was thrilled with the turn out and thanks the ten NHC members who volunteered, thus making the evening a huge success. Ambassador assists membership drive OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Waynesboro Approved as Appalachian Trail Community

Waynesboro is an ‘Appalachian Trail Community’

Waynesboro, Pa.

The greater Waynesboro area has been designated as an “Appalachian Trail Community.”According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, “…participation in the program is designed to act as a catalyst for enhancing economic development, engaging community citizens as trail visitors and stewards, aiding local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning and helping local community members see the trail as a resource and asset.”

Pat Fleagle, director of economic development for Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc., submitted the application, along with Clint Rock, Washington Township planner, and Kathy Seiler, local trail club representative, after months of reaching out to businesses and organizations in the area.

“This is a win-win situation for both the hikers and our community,” Seiler explained. “We have great support services and many places to access the trail. We were pleased to receive an unanimous vote at the meeting.”“The residents of this town are very ‘hiker friendly,’” Fleagle said. “It’s not uncommon to hear stories about them picking up hikers who are passing through the area and driving them for food, mail or a place to sleep.

This new designation will help make people more aware of Waynesboro as a welcoming destination, literally putting us on the map.”As part of the application process, an advisory committee was formed to provide evidence of community support for the Appalachian Trail. The greater Waynesboro area must also host an annual volunteer project, event or celebration of the trail.

ATC’s Trail to Every Classroom professional development program, which provides educators with the tools and training they need for service-learning and place-based education on the Appalachian Trail, already has 16 “alumni” from Waynesboro.The designation will officially be recognized at Renfrew Institute’s Earth Celebration Day in April.

Signs, media support and publications distributed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will all provide higher awareness and visibility for both visitors and residents.An idea originally conceived in the 1920s, the Appalachian Trail spans approximately 2,200 miles from Maine to Georgia. Other towns with the official “Community” designation include Duncannon and Boiling Springs in Pennsylvania and Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.

Read more:

Gateway Workshop – a resource for A.T. Communities

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have partnered to develop the Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative: Natural and Cultural Heritage Tourism Development (Gateway Initiative). The Gateway Initiative will provide 2 training workshops for natural and cultural heritage tourism development activities in Appalachian gateway communities. In addition to enhancing a community’s natural and/or historic assets, the Gateway Initiative will emphasize the role of the arts—particularly in revitalizing ‘downtowns’—as part of the development of a comprehensive natural and cultural heritage tourism development strategy. The Jan workshop will be in the A.T. Community of Abingdon, VA and the Feb workshop will be in Shepherdstown, WV–not far from Harpers Ferry! We hope A.T. Communities will consider attending!


Walking Improves Health

“Walking improves health, but pick up pace, say experts.”

 Courier Post of New Jersey via USA TODAY – 10/21/2013

Almost nothing is easier and cheaper than walking, but many people need to pick up the pace and put some spring into their step. And they need to walk whenever they can: Walk to do errands, walk the dog, go out and enjoy a local park, says Miriam Nelson, a professor at the Freedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston and the author of “Strong Women Stay Young.”

Walking is the most popular form of physical activity among adults in the U.S. and the most frequently reported activity among adults who meet the federal physical activity guidelines, the government says. The physical activity guidelines recommend getting at least 2 & 1/2 hours a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or one hour and fifteen minutes a week of vigorous intensity of aerobic activity, such as jogging. Regular exercise, such as brisk walking, may be one of the best prescriptions for improving your health, recent research confirms.

One study showed that taking a fifteen minute moderate-paced (3 mph) walk about thirty minutes after a meal helped control blood sugar in people who are a risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Other research found that exercise may be as effective as medication in preventing early death in people who have had heart attacks or strokes.

About 25% of all breast cancer in women of all ages could be avoided by maintaining a healthy body weight and doing regular physical activity, research shows. These studies add to a large volume of research on the benefits of regular physical activity. Exercise has been shown to lower the risk of early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer and a host of other conditions.

So how fast is a brisk walk?

It depends on person. For some people, a 3 mph walk would be a brisk walk, but for others, that would be a  moderate pace, Nelson said, who was co-chairwoman of the committee that created the government’s physical activity guidelines. “Brisk means that you get warm walking, and you can sense that your heart rate is slightly elevated.” Adds exercise physiologist Richard Cotton, a spokesman of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis: “You should be able to converse, but not sing.”