Kathie Brennan has a love for nature and a passion to preserve. What began back in 2005 as a one-day trail construction project on the Ozark Trail (OT) at Middle Fork, has grown into a spirit of volunteering that goes above and beyond all expectations. Brennan embodies a dedication that is unforgettable. After working as an Administrative Assistant for twenty-four years, Brennan decided to give it all up in 2012 for a pair of hiking boots that would carry her through a journey from the Ozark Trail to the Appalachian Trail. She has volunteered on the Konnarock Trail Crew since 2012 for at least one week and in recent years she’s volunteered up to four crew weeks.
As a champion of the Konnarock Trail Crew, Brennan’s passion not only drives her dedication as a volunteer but it also drives her mission of recruiting passing hikers as volunteers, too.
Throughout the years Brennan has managed to bring several volunteers from the Ozark Trail (OT) to the Appalachian Trail; building collaboration among trail groups, sharing new trailbuilding opportunities with OT volunteers, and raising the participation rates of crew weeks in the process.
As an experienced leader, Brennan’s responsibilities with the Konnarock Trail Crew were showcased when she generously filled in as an assistant crew leader in 2019 for one crew week. Bringing her talent, skills, and enthusiasm at camp and throughout the workday, Brennan’s expertise helped ensure project success as she motivated other members with her high spirits and infectious smile.
Not only does she impact her fellow volunteers and ATC staff with her infectious personality, but Brennan has continued to challenge herself and others in their efforts to gain the skills needed for the proper maintenance and development of the Trail. Brennan has served on the Ozark Trail Association’s (OTA) Board of Directors and has served as president. She is also an American Canoe Association Certified Kayak instructor, certified Wilderness First Aid Responder, and a Leave No Trace trainer.
Those who know her say, “If there is anything to do, she’ll be doing it before you can even think of mentioning it…. She is super helpful and dedicated to getting the task and goal completed in a high-quality way”.