by Leanna Joyner, ATC Program Director for Volunteer Relations

A.T. Volunteers Get a Makeover

Appalachian Trail (A.T.) volunteers mobilize through grassroots organizations in 14-states, work across lands of varied managers, and extend beyond working for a single entity such as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) or the National Park Service. A.T. Volunteerism is an identity of many different individuals and organizations, including the Conservancy and A.T. Maintaining Clubs.

For decades, A.T. volunteerism has been visually represented by the image of a hiker from the early days of the footpath. To better reflect today’s Trail volunteer community, the ATC has begun an effort to update the visual brand for A.T. volunteers.

A survey of volunteers, ATC staff, and agency partners in late summer found that the current image captures virtuous qualities of can-do attitude and a sense of rising to the occasion, but that it lacks representation that reflects volunteerism, specifically, and the diversity of the volunteer community. Through three community conversations in early October with volunteers and agency partners, the ATC’s contractor for the project shared observations from the survey and dug deeper with participants on the values and images that might best represent A.T. volunteers, now and into the future.

The next step in this process is for design ideas to be developed for evaluation by ATC staff. As the concept is drawn together toward completion, we hope to have another opportunity for community input toward the final design.

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