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Bill Steinmetz named volunteer of month for running our ridgerunner program

Bill Steinmetz is our volunteer of the month, because Bill is utilizing his 35 many years of experience in hiking and trail work on the AT to supervise and co-coordinate the Northeast Pennsylvania Ridgerunner program, now in its 26th year.

The program involves hiring an individual for the summer to work full time on a 41 mile section of the Appalachian Trail north of the Lehigh Valley.

The ridgerunner provides a presence on the trail during the heavy usage summer months to educate and assist hikers to leave no trace to help protect and preserve the trail experience for future generations.

Light trail maintenance and cleanup is also a part of the job. This program, one of three in Pennsylvania, is a joint project of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, our chapter, AMC, and in association with the several neighboring trail clubs who maintain and care for trail sections in the program. The program has been continually funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which may now be in jeopardy unless renewed by Congress in September.

For years, Bill has provided a connection for the program to the local community and the DV Chapter. Bill along with Dan Schwartz, is involved in the hiring, training and supervision. Bill shares the Ridgerunner reports with the Chapter to keep us educated on the work of the Ridgerunner and the challenges to the AT from the increasing popularity of sections in our area. Bill monitors other threats to the trail and has been a valuable resource to the Chapter Executive Committee in developing informed responses to these issues.

We appreciate Bill’s continued stewardship of the AT.

Our Volunteer of the Month program was initiated to recognize volunteers nominated by their peers. Chapter members can nominate volunteers by e-mail to recognition@amcdv.org.The nomination should contain the nominee’s name, reason for the recognition, and name of the nominator. Each nominee name is entered into a random drawing for the Volunteer of the Month recognition. The monthly winners are entered into an annual drawing at the Annual Dinner for a grand prize of a weekend stay at an AMC facility. Nominees must be an AMC member, not a member of the current Executive Committee, and may serve in any volunteer capacity that benefits the Chapter mission in the Delaware Valley area. See the past Volunteers of the Month.

You've never seen the Appalachian Trail like this: Photos from the sky above

 

AMC's Mark Zakutansky, Director of Conservation Policy Engagement helped set up this event.

Story and lots more photos

Scott Simon, AT Boundary technician, is our 2018 AT Ridge Runner

This year's Appalachian Trail ridge runner is Scott Simon, who brings experience and maturity to this position. having been a ridge runner in the Cumberland Valley two years ago.

In addition, he is employed by Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) during the colder seasons as a corridor boundary technician. In this capacity he works with trail clubs in maintaining and reporting on the integrity of the boundary lines of National Park Service land bought to protect the AT.

The ridge runner program on the Appalachian Trail enters its 26th this year. A ridge runner is an AMC employee who works on the AT five days a week including weekends and holidays between Memorial and Labor Days. His or her job is to meet and greet trail users, educate on Leave No Trace, and help preserve the trail experience for future generations.

Our chapter and the larger AMC have been directly involved in supporting this program in Pennsylvania for all of those years. The program has been coordinated by the ATC and the National Park Service, with a continuing grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The section of trail covered stretches 42 miles from Delaware Water Gap to Lehigh Furnace Gap and includes Wind Gap, Little Gap and Lehigh Gap in northeastern PA, including the 16 miles of the trail maintained by the DV Chapter. There are two other ridge runner programs on the AT in Pennsylvania, one in the Cumberland Valley, and the other in southern PA near Michaux State Forest.

 If you'd like to keep updated on the Ridge Runner program and Scott's experiences on the trail, go to his Facebook page

Volunteer vacations, new for 2018; volunteer trail crews and teen trail crews

Adult Volunteer Vacation participants will lend a hand to maintain trails and do similar work and have some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of different and locals. More info.

For more information on volunteer trail crews and teen trail crews, click here.

 

Click here for the Appalachian Mountain Club main website.

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