In November 1999, the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club conducted three large Appalachian Trail-maintenance projects with regional volunteers from local colleges and the Boy Scouts.
When Shari Galiardi, service-learning coordinator of the Appalachian and the Community Together (ACT) program at Appalachian State University (ASU) and Kevin Riley of the university’s recreation department contacted TEHCC about a service project, we organized work trips for three consecutive Saturdays to carry out maintenance projects along our Appalachian Trail section.
Trip one was a water bar/step project combined with an Eagle Scout project. The Eagle Scout project for Graham Jarvis of Asheville’s Troop 5 was to install a new floor in the shelter at Roan High Knob. Because we did not have the key to the gate for nearby access at Carvers Gap, the wood for the shelter floor and the tools had to be carried two miles to the shelter. After hauling the wood to the shelter, the rest of the group worked on installing water bars and steps on the Appalachian Trail near Toll House Gap. Although the long walk to the work site meant some lost time, in the long run we installed a lot more waterbars and steps installed than the club could have done on its own. Jarvis has now completed the floor installation and is eligible for his Eagle Scout status.
Trip two was a combined effort with Appalachian State University and a contingent from East Tennessee State University. Fortunately, this time we had the key to the gate so we got an early start installing more water bars and steps on the Appalachian Trail near the Cloudland Hotel site, south of Roan High Knob. We also completed a relocation of a steep section by using an existing old trail, exhausting the supply of previously cut water bars and steps.
Trip three was another waterbar project with the help of another group of Appalachian State students. Since the supply of waterbars up on Roan was depleted, we met the students at U.S. 19E and hiked in above the Apple House Shelter to install waterbars and add more erosion control in the area. Bob Peoples of the Kincora Hostel recruited three thru-hikers to help. Again, we got a lot of work done installing waterbars and diversion ditches. A larger drain pipe under the Trail was also cleared out, and the side shored up with rock and log cribbing.
Workers put in a total of 736 hours on the three trips, and we helped both the youth groups and the club work together to achieve goals. The college students and their coordinators enjoyed the opportunity so much that they have already requested a new project with TEHCC later this year. It was a great opportunity for the club to work with some young people from area universities and show them how the Appalachian Trail is maintained. We hope it encouraged some future Trail maintainers.
ASU: Kay Smith (instructor), Kristin Rusborough, Anna Tucker, Khalisa Bolling, Jennifer Rudicil, Matthew Long, Elizabeth Meeks, Amy Voci, Amy Souther, Kristen Bright, Tess Phillis, Kathy-Jo Whisnant, Maranda Love, Erin McKinna, Ryan Thomas, Steve Ayers, Mike Satusky, Sara Lemberg
Michele Croteau (instructor), Mindy Baldinger, Jonathan Bronner, Seth Folsom, Cara Lovejoy, Johneal Moore, Amanda Perez, Eleanor Quinn, Heather Robertson, Allison Voss, Anna Williams, Danielle Allen, Stewart Bradshaw, and Tim ?
Kevin Riley(instructor), Tim Holcomb, Keaton Baines, Rodney Melton, Brian Fox, Randy Walker, Hilary Loynes, McKinley Johnson, Kyndra Boudolf, Caroline Gore, McClure L. Jackson, Jenny Newcomb, Khalinda Goergen
Boy Scouts: Graham Jarvis, Erwin Jarvis, Terry Ward, Jordan Lance, Dustin McMillan
ETSU: Kevin Odonnell (instructor), Catherine Strain, Megan Gregory
Thru Hikers: Ronald Batchler (Seiko), Lee Harper (Sage), and John Wheeler (Wheels)
TEHCC: Ed Oliver, Mary Cunningham, Joe Deloach, Craig Deloach, Frank Williams, Bob Peoples, Carl Fritz, Mike Floyd, Chris Garrett, Bill Stowell, Steve Perri, Kathy Mc David, Bill Elderbrock.