Roanoke's Weekend for Wilderness will Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

Date Published: Sep 03, 2014

Roanoke's Weekend for Wilderness imageRoanoke, VA (September 3, 2014) – Roanoke’s Weekend for Wilderness, hosted by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and other partners, will take place September 25 to 27 throughout the Roanoke River Valley in Virginia. The event will feature a full schedule of opportunities to explore, give back and learn about the past, present and future of Wilderness preservation. 

In 1964, the Wilderness Act ensured that America’s wild places would be preserved for future generations, and Wilderness has been called America’s enduring resource. Roanoke, nestled among numerous federally designated Wilderness areas, is the perfect setting to celebrate the great achievements of the Wilderness Act 50 years after it was signed into law.

“Roanoke's Weekend for Wilderness is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of experience level, to learn about, enjoy and protect the wilderness and the legacy it provides to the American people," said Andrew Downs, ATC regional director. "Join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's broad partnership for an opportunity unrivaled in the Southeast that features local hikes, discussions with conservation leaders and the chance to give back to those outdoor places that we cherish."

The weekend kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 25, with a special screening of the film “Green Fire” at Taubman Theater in downtown Roanoke. The event is hosted by author and luminary Ed Zahnizer, the son of the Wilderness Act’s principal author, Howard Zahnizer.

The weekend will continue on Friday, Sept. 26, with A Toast to Wilderness at Parkway Brewing in Salem, Virginia. Attendees can participate in a raffle to win gear valued at more than $1,000 from Eagles Nest Outfitters Hammocks, Outdoor Trails and Walkabout Outfitters. Parkway Brewing will commemorate the celebration with a special pint glass series, and all proceeds will benefit the ATC and the Wilderness Society.

Events on Saturday, Sept. 27, will offer a broad menu of opportunities for the public to enjoy and protect local Wilderness Areas. The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) and the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) will lead a variety of excursions to explore and volunteer in some of the region’s most beautiful wild places. With everything from a short family friendly hike to a full day of rewarding trail work, Roanoke’s Weekend for Wilderness is the perfect time to get out and experience a favorite Wilderness Area. To register for a hike, visit

The weekend will conclude with a presentation by author and Roanoke native Dr. James Turner. “Wilderness and the Myths of American Environmentalism,” held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Roanoke College, will include an interactive panel discussion featuring Ron Tipton, executive director of the ATC; Tom Speaks, forest supervisor for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; and other national leaders in conservation.

Roanoke’s Weekend for Wilderness Overview:

“Green Fire” screening with Ed Zahniser
Date: Thursday, Sept. 25
Time: 6:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Location: The Taubman Theater, 110 Salem Ave. SE, Roanoke, VA

A Toast to Wilderness at Parkway Brewing
Date: Friday, Sept. 26
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: Parkway Brewing, 739 Kessler Mill Road, Salem, VA

Wilderness and the Myths of American Environmentalism
Date: Saturday, Sept. 27
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Colket Student Center Ballroom, Roanoke College, 255 High St., Salem, VA

Leading up to Roanoke’s Weekend for Wilderness, Roanoke Parks and Recreation will host the “Epic Wilderness Hike Series,” which offers the public a chance to explore the Wilderness Areas immediately accessible from the city. The series begins Thursday, Sept. 11, and will conclude Saturday, Sept. 20. For more information about these hikes, visit   

This event is hosted in partnership with the ATC, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Walkabout Outfitters, Outdoor Trails, Parkway Brewery, Roanoke College, Taubman Theater, Roanoke City and County, The City of Salem, the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, The Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club, The Wilderness Society, the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards and the United States Forest Service.

For more information about this event, visit or  

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

Contact: Javier Folgar                                                                    
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: [email protected]

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