Eleanor Grasselli

July 2012

“To exercise, to learn something new every day, and to be with other people who have similar interests,” are some of the reasons Eleanor Grasselli volunteers for the Appalachian Trail. Those interests include protecting the special plants along the Trail, reaching out to the local community, and serving as a club leader. 

Eleanor joined both the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Mount Rogers A.T. Club (MRATC) after the1999 ATC biennial conference, where she helped at the Damascus, Virginia, booth. 

She later was a “Willing Wednesday Worker” on the 56 miles of the Trail maintained by MRATC. 

After attending a class in nonnative Invasive plants, she was asked by instructor Andy Brown of SAMAB to inventory invasive species from Whitetop Mountain down FSR89 and SR600 to Elk Garden. She and others have removed coltsfoot, autumn olive, Japanese knotweed, Japanese stilt grass, garlic mustard and more. Under National Park Service supervision she has been monitoring rare, threatened, and endangered plants along part of the club’s Trail section since 2006 and has introduced other interested members to this aspect of the A.T. MEGA-Transect program. 

Currently MRATC secretary, Eleanor has also served as club president and as the alternate club representative to the ATC regional partnership committee. As a volunteer at Virginia Journeys, ATC’s 2011 biennial conference, she led tours of historic homes in Abingdon, Virginia. 

Long before ATC began the A.T. Community partnership program, she was arranging for programs at the Appalachian Trail Days event held each May in Damascus. 

Asked her favorite part of being an A.T. volunteer, Eleanor responded, “Monitoring heritage plants all season, and seeing the other early spring blossoms in May.” 

Thank you, Eleanor!