Parting Thought
Parting Thought
Photo by Travis Bordley
AS 2019 BEGINS, I AM CONTEMPLATING HOW LAST year flew by so fast that I did not get a chance to get out and enjoy the Trail as much as I had hoped. But the Trail beckons my husband and I to repaint fresh, new white blazes along the three-mile section we maintain. These simple footpath duties will be our reminder that the A.T. is there waiting for us to care for it and coax us to trek past our section and enjoy more. I am reminded how multi-faceted managing the entire Trail is — as an ever-changing and shifting, living organism with so many passionate people involved. We put our heads together and determinedly face big challenges that keep us on our toes (so that so many others can slip some boots over their toes and enjoy it).

We are not alone in our challenges. Protecting our precious natural resources requires dogged determination and an ability to think spherically, find solutions, and not lose sight of the fact that everyone has a stake. While some supporters are more “on the ground” oriented in their work, others walk a fine line to maintain strong and complex connections with constituents and supporters. And we need and appreciate every aspect of support equally. We do all of this so that the Trail remains protected, relevant, and resilient for both the short- and long-term future.

With all this, I am more positive than ever that the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and our partners and supporters are up to the task. And I keep in mind that what we do — promote, protect, and maintain the Appalachian Trail — has never been easy. From Benton MacKaye pushing to have his vision realized to the years of hard work led by Myron Avery to get the footpath established, our hike has been a challenging one. When people are as passionate as ATC people are, we may not always agree. But it is exactly because of that passion that, in the end, we come together and move the organization, and our own hearts and minds, forward to ensure the absolute best for the Appalachian Trail.

Sandra Marra / Chair
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