We are excited to kick off the 18th annual EarthFest with the A.T. Community designation. In addition to interpretive hikes, EarthFest will feature live music throughout the day, along with face painting, gem mining, and a beekeeper, and other family adventures throughout the day,” stated Denise Urbaniak with Vernon Chamber Charities, the lead organization hosting EarthFest.
“We are very excited to celebrate Vernon becoming an Appalachian Trail Community. We live in a beautiful four season recreational community with arguably the most popular and the most alluring section of the Appalachian Trail running right through our town. In being a partner with the ATC we can work together to sustain our AT boardwalk, bridges and trails. We are grateful for the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference for all they do to maintain our trails and look forward to working with them keep Vernon trails beautiful,” stated Charlene Van Vugt and Stewart Stumper, the community leaders responsible for submitting the application to become designated.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program was created by the ATC to recognize communities that promote and care for the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Working with a growing network of trailside community partners, the program supports communities that play a role in advocating the A.T. as a significant local and national asset and as an international icon. The program assists communities by generating awareness and stimulating outdoor recreation while preserving and protecting the A.T.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is thrilled to celebrate Vernon as an A.T. Community partner that is helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” said Julie Judkins, Director of Education and Outreach for the ATC. “These new partnerships increase local stewardship of public lands, support community initiatives for sustainable economic development and conservation planning and support healthy lifestyles for community citizens.”
Honored guests and speakers at this event include Mayor Shortway; Karen Lutz, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Regional Director; Steve Weissman, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference NJ A.T. Trail Chair; Senator Oroho; and Joshua Osowski, NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy