Waynesboro is an ‘Appalachian Trail Community’
Posted Nov. 9, 2013 @ 12:00 pm by Waynesboro Record Herald
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.