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National Partner Spotlight: Protecting Trails Across the Country

Summer is prime time for getting into the outdoors, and local trails are often the first place people head. Hiking trails are integral to our nation's history and future generations. It takes thousands of volunteers and contributions each year to keep them in top shape.

Through REI's grants program, we work with hundreds of nonprofits doing important work to maintain and conserve trails. Three of these organizations stand out on a national scale as their impacts reach across the country from the Pacific Crest Trail to the Continental Divide Trail to the Appalachian Trail. Combined, these trails travel more than 7,900 miles across 22 states. We want to share some of the great work these partners are conducting on behalf of these crucial paths and ways you can join them.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is working to build a continuous path that stretches along the Appalachian Mountains across 14 states from Maine to Georgia. With support from REI, ATC recently held a Youth Leadership Summit to develop a set of youth workshops and educational materials for its 30 affiliated volunteer Trail Clubs. In 2010, the organization will engage 145 volunteers in 955 hours of work on the trail through the grant support. Join the organization on Facebook.

The Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA) provides three programs to involve youth in stewardship for the trail traveling across five states from Mexico to Canada: an environmental education program, CDTA Youth Corps and its grassroots volunteer program. The multigenerational programs help develop the next generation of stewards and engage volunteers for the Continental Divide Trail. Join the organization on Facebook.

The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) organizes volunteer efforts for the annual maintenance and reconstruction of the trail that travels from Mexico to Canada across three Western states. Building off of two previous years, the funding from REI will help further develop its Trail Skills College. The curriculum includes training from beginning trail work to advanced trail construction techniques and crew leadership, in addition to supporting three weekend training events. Join the organization on Facebook.

To learn more about these amazing organizations and volunteer opportunities, visit: 

Posted on at 1:36 PM

Tagged: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Continental Divide Trail Alliance, Hiking, Pacific Crest Trail Association, grants, nonprofit and rei

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