For the 2019 Federal Fiscal Year, 5,867 volunteers contributed 210,923 hours. This is a slight increase of volunteers, just 35 more people than the last reporting period, but an increase of 11,633 hours. Volunteers are holding steady, and the information ATC and its cooperating partners collect and report annually help shape an understanding of trends in volunteerism for the Appalachian Trail.*
This reporting year marks the first reporting cycle when ATC asked clubs to report on volunteers in the following age categories. Nineteen A.T. clubs of 31 attempted to provide detailed data for this reporting section. The graph represents all A.T. Clubs, so 50% of all A.T. Club volunteer ages are unknown because they are not reported.
Responding to best practices issued by Green 2.0 for environmental non-profits and recommendations from ATC’s Next Generation Advisory Council, ATC began requesting demographic information from volunteers it hosts on projects. Volunteers who responded are helping ATC identify its effectiveness at reaching all people as we work toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equity-centered volunteer-corps.
The work of A.T. volunteers runs the gamut, from on-Trail stewardship to natural resource management, and from outreach in A.T. Communities to service-learning opportunities for youth. The A.T. management as well as the leadership and administration aspects fo volunteer work are essential to volunteers’ role as co-managers of the Trail, alongside land managers and ATC.
* The reports tell the story of volunteers as the central legacy of the Trail, help the A.T. compete for funding to support volunteer efforts, and demonstrate the impact of the public investment of time and talent to federal agency partners through their annual reporting.
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Program Director, Volunteer Relations