ASHEVILLE, N.C. (May 10, 2017) - The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 North Carolina and Tennessee Appalachian Trail (A.T.) License Plate Grants. This grant program is funded by the thousands of Tennessee drivers who purchase or renew their A.T. specialty license plates. For 2017, the ATC awarded $30,000 to fund 12 projects in North Carolina and $17,000 to fund three projects in Tennessee. All of these projects will help preserve and protect the A.T. throughout the Southeast.
In North Carolina, this year’s recipients include the Forest Fire Look-out Association, Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, MountainTrue and Madison County Department of Development Services. Projects include restoring the Rich Mountain fire tower, funding for wildlife interns who will help construct and maintain bear cable systems in the Smoky Mountains, and collecting data to continue the protection of ash trees from invasive emerald borers. Additional projects focus on inspiring and educating youth in environmental stewardship and Trail education by providing affordable and accessible opportunities to students in Madison County.
In Tennessee, this year’s recipients include the Forest Fire Lookout Association, Roan Mountain A.T. Community™ committee, and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. These projects include rehabilitating the historic Rich Mountain lookout tower and supporting the Roan Mountain A.T. Community™ designation ceremony. Additionally, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will use funds to replace kiosk posters at Carver’s Gap to continue to support Leave No Trace ethics and visitor education along a heavily-used and ecologically important section of the A.T.
All of these projects highlight the partnerships necessary to successfully manage the A.T.
A.T. Specialty License Plates
Since the plate became available in 2005, North Carolina license plate holders have raised almost $1,200,000 for the ATC. Likewise, Tennessee license plate holders have raised over $250,000 for ATC since the plate became available in 2010.
$20 from the purchase of each North Carolina license plate and $15.62 from each Tennessee license plate is donated to the ATC to support various projects in each state, including A.T. greenway acquisition, footpath and facility repairs and upgrades and hiker education and outreach material. Specialty license plates for the A.T. are a way to support the ATC in its work to sustain the Trail into the future. A.T. specialty license plates are currently offered in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
For more information about the ATC license tag program, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/plates.
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 System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 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 appalachiantrail.org.
Media Contact: Jordan Bowman
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Email: [email protected]