Jerry Wright became a member of the Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM) in 2001 and has been working on the A.T. since moving to the area in 1999. Upon joining the MCM, Wright became a trail maintainer, as well as a certified sawyer and feller.
Wright is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician and has conducted Red Cross first aid training for a number of MCM maintainers and hike leaders. Prior to joining MCM, Wright worked on trail crews for fifteen-years with the Adirondack Mountain Club and the American Hiking Society. After maintaining a five-mile section of the A.T. in Duncannon, PA for several years and further working to expand his knowledge of trail maintenance by attending a variety of workshops, Wright now serves as the MCM’s Supervisor of Trails and has been doing so for the past six years.
As Supervisor of Trails for the MCM, Wright has a wealth of knowledge on all things trail maintenance and is tasked with supervising the MCM’s trail crews and maintainers. Wright also organizes and schedules volunteer work crews throughout the year based on his assessment of Trail conditions and works to actively recruit new maintainers as needed. In addition, Wright has mapped several reroutes of the Trail to improve the hiker experience and address erosion issues. In 2019, he organized the installation of six-hundred linear feet of puncheon to address a muddy section of Trail that was created after an abnormally heavy rainfall from the previous year.
Wright has also been a leader in graffiti removal efforts in coordination with partner organizations. His first experience was with the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community removing graffiti at Hawk Rock where community members carried heavy water containers up the mountain to use for washing off the graffiti. Lessons learned from that first graffiti removal led to submitting and being awarded a $1,700 grant to purchase material for graffiti removal which included a backpack gas powered pressure washer for convenient use in the backcountry. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Mid- Atlantic Regional Office then purchased two more graffiti removal backpack devices based on Wright’s design modifications.
For Wright, graffiti removal does not stop at the end of his Club’s Trail section. He has helped to coordinate graffiti removals at Shock Rock and Pole Steeple with neighboring A.T. maintaining clubs and Michaux State Forest, respectively. Some of these worksites can be a half-mile away from the nearest vehicle approach and Wright helps to provide continuous graffiti removal at these locations, and more, as new graffiti arises. Wright has also been recognized by his peers in the Mid-Atlantic Region (MARO) of the Appalachian Trail as their Volunteer of the Year in 2020.