ATC Phenology Program

Are you interested in exploring nature and helping out a good cause? ATC is seeking volunteers for their Phenology program. If you’re like me, the quote below should resolve your current question.

What is Phenology?

The term Phenology is derived from the Greek work “phaino”, meaning to show or appear. Phenology is the study of the reoccurring life cycle stages of plants and animals; such as bud break, leaf-out, hibernation, bird migrations an insect emergence. Phenology also includes the study of how the timing of these events relate to biotic and abiotic forces, such as weather and climate.

Read more about it at ATC’s website or download their brochure.

TN Announces Rocky Fork State Park

The 5th and FINAL sale of chunks of Rocky Fork from The Conservation Fund to the Cherokee NF was completed on September 27, 2012. This concludes transfer of Rocky Fork into public ownership, a goal sought by ATC since at least 1983. To top off that excitement, on Oct. 30 TN Gov. Bill Haslam and US Sen. Lamar Alexander announced that the 2036 acre TN-owned portion of Rocky Fork will become Rocky Fork State Park! Funds for this project came from a TN Heritage Conservation Trust Fund grant (obtained by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy), federal Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations, and generous donations from private donors and foundations, notably Fred & Alice Stanback, the Lyndhurst Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (through Walmart’s 2012 Acres for America program), the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Conservation Alliance. The Conservation Fund bought and held the property pending public purchase. Look for an upcoming article in ATJourneys for more details.

A Biennial Celebration at ATC Cullowhee 2013

Plans have been underway for over a year for the biennial celebration at ATC Cullowhee 2013. It will be held at Western Carolina University (WCU) July 19-26, 2013, in Cullowhee N.C.  The five AT trail maintaining clubs in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have been working on all aspects of this event. TEHCC is responsible for organizing the workshops while other clubs are handling volunteers, hike selection, excursions, entertainment, housing, etc. We expect near 1000 people to attend this week long event. Continue reading “A Biennial Celebration at ATC Cullowhee 2013”

Appalachian Trail Community designation event in Abingdon

The Town of Abingdon joins the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club in cordially inviting you to participate in the official designation of Abingdon as an Appalachian Trail Community™.  This event will take place in Abingdon, VA on September 11th at 6pm at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market.  Come out early to the Higher Education Center for a “Hikers and Bikers” presentation and hear from ATC’s Executive Director, Mark Wenger, about his Appalachian Trail section hike.  The presentation begins at 4pm.  We’d love to celebrate with you and hope to see you on Tuesday, September 11th!

The Appalachian Trail Community™ program recognizes communities who are taking extra steps to promote and protect the Appalachian Trail.  Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community™ is intended to:

  • Engage community residents, Trail visitors, and stewards
  • Thank communities for decades of service to hikers
  • Catalyze sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Raise local awareness of the Trail as a community resource and asset

Please RSVP by September 1, 2012 to Tenille Montgomery ( 276-676-2282.

Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition Gathering

Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition invites TEHCC members to Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau Gathering in September.

Members of the 40 hiking and trail maintenance clubs in the Southeast interested in hiking the trails on the Cumberland Plateau or wanting to know more about all aspects of trails and trail building/maintenance are invited to the 7th biennial meeting of the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition (SEFTC) at Fall Creek Falls State Park in southeastern Tennessee near Pikeville on the Cumberland Plateau on September 20-23, 2012, about 70 miles north of Chattanooga.

The SEFTC is a coalition of most all the hiking and trail maintenance organizations in the Southeast, representing over 40 such clubs from Florida to Virginia and Kentucky.

The coalition leadership has planned a fun and informative four days.  There will be numerous trail-related workshops led by experts in the field.  A variety of hikes are planned, both inside this 25,000-acre state park and in the surrounding state/protected areas of the Cumberland Plateau.  Trail fellowship and a wide exchange of ideas are part of the offering.  Special speakers and entertainment will be yours each evening.

Much of the beautiful lakeview lodge, cabins, and campground have been reserved by SEFTC for this weekend.  Part-weekend registration and attendance is available for those not able to be present the full time.

Early registration now is encouraged. Some fees go up August 1, and there is a limit to housing with almost no alternatives nearby outside the park.

Go to website to learn more about the conference and for the registration form.  The website provides the basic information with links to the pages for registration, housing, meals, workshops, and hikes.

Tweetsie Trail Survey

The “Rails to Trails” effort between Johnson City and Elizabethton is seeking input on the development of the greenway.  A simple eleven-question confidential survey (link) asks about several aspects of a greenway; and there are a few optional fields which can be used for comments.  If you enjoy other similar trails in the area (Virginia Creeper, Guest River Gorge, or New River) or city greenways (Kingsport Greenbelt or Erwin Linear Trail), then please help define this project by taking the survey.  It will take less than five minutes of your time.  For more information, check the official project website.