Asheville, NC (August 27, 2014) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking volunteers to participate in an invasive exotic plant workshop on Thursday, Sept. 4, at Mill Ridge, outside of Hot Springs, North Carolina on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Carpooling to Mill Ridge is available, and those interested should meet at 8 a.m. at the ATC’s Southern Regional Office parking lot, located by the U.S. Forest Service Office at 160 Zillicoa St. in Asheville.
The primary goal of the work project, which is hosted by Equinox Environmental Consultation and the Western North Carolina Alliance with funding by the ATC Specialty License Plate grant program, is to remove non-native invasive plants like kudzu (Pueraria montana) and multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) from the Mill Ridge section of the A.T. Participants will target these plants by pulling stems and cutting and applying small amounts of herbicide to larger stems. This workday is in support of the Southern Appalachian Cooperative Weed Management Partnership (SACWMP).
“Come get your hands dirty and help protect the forest ecosystems of the Appalachian Trail through the removal of non-native invasive plants,” said John Odell, resource management coordinator at the ATC.
The workday will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a brief educational workshop to train volunteers on the importance of native plant diversity, plant identification and safe work procedures. Participants will also receive free guidebooks for the identification and control of invasive exotic plants. Afterward, the group will work along the A.T. to remove any invasive plants encountered.
The SACWMP will provide all equipment needed for the workday. Volunteers are asked to wear long sleeves, long pants and sturdy hiking boots or shoes. Participants should also bring a lunch and at least two quarts of water. Those who carpool will return to Asheville by 4 p.m.
Individuals or groups interested in volunteering should contact Rhys Brydon-Williams at [email protected] or by calling 828.254.3708 x15.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Email: [email protected]