Appalachian Trail Conservancy Grant Proposal
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy having served the American population is experiencing high incidences of congestion of its premises and most of the premises are worn out. This problem has reached a point where public safety as well as hiking activities may be in jeopardy. Therefore, the Conservancy respectfully submits its proposal to the Corporate Giving Program for $250,000 to support its land acquisition and renovation of outdoor facilities for hikers. Appalachian Trail Conservancy is an innovative firm utilizes technology to make the hiking activities enjoyable for the hikers. In addition, the conservancy offers a variety of programs that serve community members of every age and background (Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, 2013). This particular proposal seeks funding for one of our most important programs; outdoor resources and land expansion. This program is the cornerstone of the organization and its strategy to bring hiking experiences to low-income children and teenagers. To reach this mission, the organization seeks to launch an innovative partnership with Microsoft and Google Corporation consisting of funding and volunteer efforts. Given the grant, the conservancy will provide occupational training construction skills and as well as basic educational services and leadership development to both hikers and employees in conjunction with the rehabilitation of 40 units of outside catering and buying more vacant space for the conservancy. This proposal requests $250,000 from the federal government for the conservation of the trail, employees’ payments and renovation of existing structures. The organization anticipates that the grant will be an essential and primary part of its program and will add a crucial training and educational component to the program permitting us to both extend our efforts in the field of counseling and training as well as lower construction costs so that the organization may serve the community with a larger number of assisted units. The program which the partners envision is multifaceted, comprehensive and innovative. The trail has a tremendous need for additional spaces and buildings with a large vacant land and few appropriate sites. The organization having identified an appropriate site, will proceed to construct newer structures and rehabilitate a 40-unit building with 36 units of housing and 4 commercial units as a component of this program. The Housing component will provide aid to clients requiring assisted housing after long hikes or requiring lodges for some days when visiting the trails. Moreover, the organization anticipates that 25% of the units will be set aside for transitional housing for homeless families that are victims of disaster who will get social and other necessary services on site. The housing component will be financed through the State Housing Fund and Federal low-income tax credits.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) formerly known as Appalachian Trail Conference is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia. The Conservancy works to protect the trail’s 2,179 miles greenway and coordinates the work of more than thirty hiking clubs performing trail maintenance. The ATC was established in 1925 in Washington, DC with Major Welch as chairman and Torrey as treasurer. In 1927, Welch was replaced by Judge Arthur Perkins and in 1928, J.A. Allis became Treasurer. In line with this, the ATC is headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. It is committed not only to trail maintenance and protection, but to education, science and awareness as well. The trail’s size, uniqueness and the environmental effects of it and on it can provide valuable insights and advances for science and ecology. The ATC currently has a MEGA-Transect scientific study underway, which will use data collected to provide critical information toward preservation on a global scale. Additionally, the Conservancy strives to heighten awareness via the ATC’s Community Recognition Program that recognizes and highlights the communities through which the trail’s 2,000 miles run. As well, the ATC’s ‘A Trail to Every Classroom’ is a school program that utilizes the trail to teach students about conservation, preservation, earth science and ecology.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. Moreover, the Conservancy’s vision is to connect the human spirit with nature while preserving the delicate majesty of the Trail as a haven for all to enjoy. The organization is also committed to nurture and protect this sacred space through education and inspiration. We strive to create an ever-expanding community of doers and dreamers, and work to ensure that tomorrow’s generations will experience the same mesmerizing beauty we behold today. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is guided by a set of core values that represent the organization’s commitment to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail. The conservancy pursues its mission and vision by dedication to; volunteerism and community support; cooperation, sustainability, integrity, creativity and innovation, health and safety as well as enjoyment.
Since its establishment, the number of clients served by the conservancy has increased and as such, congestion and wearing out of facilities has taken place. New businesses and industries, attracted by the ample labor force resulting from bankrupt farming, have provided an unexpected source of economic growth. Therefore, to serve this community, the Corporation now has more than 13 full-time employees; all of them have completed the required basic training and eighty percent of the employees have at least 120 hours of advanced training in such subjects as accident investigation, trail marking, rope climbing and rock climbing. Moreover, Appalachian Trail Conservancy is one of the few state recognized conservation agencies that successfully underwent certification by the National Council of Environmental Conservation. This designation denotes that the organization has achieved exceptionally high standards of performance in all its initiatives. In addition, more than half the employees have earned commendations for service beyond the call of duty, and three officers have been awarded the Mayor’s Medal of Merit for risking their lives to save others.
Statement of Problem
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. Hiking has become the favorite past time for many people living across the globe. This is because a person is able to visit new places and explore new destinations offered by nature with extra ordinary scenic locations. But there are many common hiking problems that are faced by hikers that would lead to serious infections if not provided immediate medical attention. Generally, blisters are also a major problem faced by hikers and caused by the friction of shoes or socks or rubbing of boots against the feet. When this happens continuously for a longer period of time, it leads to breakage of skin and eruptions called blisters (Carlson & O’Neal-McElrath, 2008). It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking have been confirmed in studies. Some of the health benefits of hiking include, but are not limited to, losing excess weight, decreasing hypertension, and improving mental health. However, hiking may produce threats to personal safety. These threats can be dangerous circumstances while hiking and/or specific accidents or ailments. Diarrhea has been found to be one of the most common illness afflicting long-distance hikers in the United States. In addition, dangerous hiking circumstances include losing the way, inclement weather, hazardous terrain, or exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions. Specific accidents include metabolic imbalances such as dehydration, topical injuries such as frostbite, and attacks by animals, or internal injuries.
Based on this, the conservancy together with a non-profit group of mountain bikers, the Central Alabama Mountain Peddlers (CAMP), is busy expanding and renovating the trails and the joint venture is supposed to build 15 miles of new trails in the park. The group also plans to renovate and improve other facilities; the trails are a mix of new track and expansions of existing trails including some of original Civilian Conservation Corps trails. According to the conservancy, the new trails are developed with notable historic points of interest and natural beauty in mind. The primary goal is to help bring the park to life as a thriving facility that offers many different opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. While dependent upon funding, some of the planned improvements include a zip line, updated playground equipment, a disc golf course, adding more than 10 miles of flow-type mountain bike trail, adding two pump tracks, and a bike wash/changing room station. The conservancy also requires securing a recreational trails grant that would make some of the park improvements possible (Browning, 2011).
Once granted the required funding, the conservancy aims at bringing together businesses and Conservancy experts to learn about the value of nature and develop corporate conservation best practices. The organization thus requires members to demonstrate corporate leadership in valuing and investing in nature, and to collaborate to develop common positions and advocacy strategies in key areas of public policy and to advance global conservation objectives. The Conservancy looks to these members for input, while maintaining an independent role and seeking to advance practices and strategies that best align with and support our mission. Therefore, to assess the extent to which the proposed project remedies the problems noted above, it will be necessary to quantify the results to measure the project’s effectiveness. The following are the project objectives;
1. The employees and clients will learn about the Conservancy’s pioneering efforts to value and invest in nature, mitigate related business risks and realize new opportunities for their own companies. Hikers will benefit from the Conservancy’s core competencies in conservation planning, site-based conservation, habitat management, community outreach and capacity building, and conservation finance.
2. Network with peers from a variety of industries and sectors, united by an interest in valuing nature and biodiversity, harnessing green infrastructure, habitat conservation and improving the overall environmental performance of their company. This is due to the fact that the Conservancy provides a welcoming and transparent forum for participants to exchange ideas and experiences with peers from outside their sectors and the Conservancy.
3. Benchmark best practices by examining the outcomes of various collaborations developed among companies, the Conservancy and other groups to identify strengths, challenges and opportunities. The Conservancy contributes to this process through its science-based, results-oriented approach to conservation.
4. Contribute to conservation results by helping the Conservancy meet priorities and overcome challenges by sharing expertise, skills, experience and resources. Individual members might also develop new and deeper collaborations with the Conservancy that meet the particular objectives of the company and support the conservation of natural resources.
Methods and Procedures
The conservancy’s reason for existence is the Appalachian Trail. Since its inception, the conservancy has had a wide variety of activities associated with building and maintaining the trail. Following the issuance of the grant, the organization will work with the community collaboratively to bring awareness to the Trail and to their respective community highlighting the Trail as a national resource and international icon. In the fall of 2013, the conservancy will provide hikers, parents and community partners with multi-faceted training. The first phase of staff development will prepare participants to fully utilize the existing trial marking resources and celebrating the official designation of Duncannon, Pennsylvania as the newest Appalachian Trail Community (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2013). Event activities will begin at 8:30am at area trailheads with hikes sponsored by local hiking groups with the designation festival titled ‘Saving Our Community from Nature Deficit Disorder’. The designation festival will begin at noon at the Borough on Cumberland St. Activities include live music, vendors, workshops, presentations and raffle followed by a ceremony at 2:45pm.
Additionally, The Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program will be developed for K-12 teachers to provide them with the tools and training for place-based education and service-learning on the Appalachian Trail. In partnership with the National Park Service, this program will offer educators resources needed to engage their students in their local community, while growing academically and professionally. This program is developed to engage youth in volunteer activities, create a conservation ethic as well as form a respect for the Trail. In addition, the TTEC program will call on educators based along the Appalachian corridor to develop their own experiential learning curriculum based on state educational standards that integrate a hands-on study of the Trail (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2013). The program is divided into a series of three workshops; Regional Spring Workshop, Week Long Summer Institute and Regional Fall Workshop. Once these workshops are completed, ongoing support is provided to ensure success and mini-grants will be offered to teachers for curriculum implementation and graduate credit is offered.
With the grant funding, there will be renovation of the basement as well as various lounges. This phase of this project involves the renovation of the basement of ATC headquarters which highlights that the space currently being used for storing Christmas decorations for City Hall will be converted into a lounge. The main storage room will be converted into a restaurant and another section being a smaller store; this room will accommodate visitors during mealtimes, hiking equipment such as tents, maps, walking sticks among others. Renovation will consist of first transferring all the Christmas decorations to the basement of the newly constructed hall. Once that is accomplished, it will be necessary to paint the walls, install indoor/outdoor carpeting and set up the equipment. A second, smaller room will be converted into a locker room. Renovation will include painting the floors and the installation of lockers and benches. To complete the renovations, a third basement room will be equipped as a shower room. A local plumber will tap into existing plumbing to install several showerheads. Besides, there will be training of both clients and employees. Participating hikers must be trained in the safe, responsible use of the trail equipment and as such, Michael P. Wells, an independent environmental consultant from Norway will hold periodic training sessions at the facility.
The conservancy has 13 employees to manage the conservation activities of the trail but there is need the addition of two more employees. Once the funding is done, the positions required are field assistant and regional director both based in Central Virginia. These two people will support field survey work to monitor, maintain, and recover exterior corridor boundaries of ANST lands acquired to protect the Appalachian Trail (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2013). The positions will also support training workshops, and assist Trail Clubs to monitor, manage, and recover selected boundaries. The jobs require extensive travel and weekend work as well as visits to and physical inspection of Trail locations. The participants for the conservancy’s activities are volunteers from any race but they must have a passion for hiking and enthusiastic about outdoor activities. Application forms for membership are available from the head offices and can be downloaded from the internet as well.
Evaluation Plan and Criteria
The Appalachian Trail is the most significant conservation corridor east of the Mississippi River. With headquarters in Harpers Ferry, ATC manages a 280,000-acre land base that has been documented as one of the most biologically diverse units of our National Park Service. Each year, more than 6100 volunteers contribute over 210,000 hours toward maintenance, environmental monitoring, community outreach, visitor services, and other trail-related activities (Karl, 1970). The Appalachian Trail is not only an internationally recognized recreational resource, but is also an important avian flyway and migratory corridor for wildlife. Trail lands contain and protect the source waters for approximately one third of the East Coast’s drinking water. In 2006, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy launched the AT MEGA-Transect project, an ongoing large-scale environmental monitoring program that pairs teams of volunteer citizen scientists with professional research institutions in tracking the environmental health of the Appalachian Range over the long-term. In 2009, ATC launched A.T. Communities, a certification program for neighboring jurisdictions intended to promote sustainable business development for outdoor recreation and tourism, awareness of natural resources protected by the Trail corridor, youth involvement in volunteer conservation activities and service-learning, and land use planning that takes the biodiversity of the Trail and its scenic vistas into consideration. In 2010, ATC launched Appalachian Trail Communities, a certification program to help neighboring communities with sustainable tourism/recreation-based business development and conservation-friendly land use development that would help conserve priority conservation landscapes adjacent to the Trail (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2011).
Based on this, it is necessary to determine the extent to which the project has been adequately evaluated prior to beginning the renovation program. It will also be necessary to ensure that participating employees are working out the required three times per week. If the evaluator determines that any of these conditions are not being met, he will advise the project director who will correct the problem. Of primary interest is whether the proposed regimen actually improves the conservancy programs of the organization and increases clients served and satisfaction. To determine the extent to which the project is responsible for the improved conservancy to the organization, Dr. Updike will collect extensive data on the pre-project statistics of the participants (DeWalt & DeWalt, 2002). Multiple methods were used to collect data on the variable described above. The data collection was designed in a way that interrupted working processes and patient care as little as possible. This means that we collected as much data as possible from documentation, observation, and interviews. Additionally, we used questionnaires and forms for staff members to fill in to draw an extensive picture of the study.
The questionnaires provide extensive, descriptive data and further elaborated information gathered at the sites. The analysis of the questionnaire involved summarizing the data according to the research questions and exploring similarities and differences occurring among the research subjects. Research staff examined the interview information, observation reports, and questionnaire data for effective practices and barriers to effective practice, as well as for consistency between the reports and questionnaires. Data analysis began following each observation and interview, as researchers reviewed sources of information to identify recurring themes and patterns. Subsequent interviews and observations were adapted to focus on emerging themes. Data and tentative interpretations were presented and discussed during periodic meetings of the research team.
Budget Plan and Budget Narrative
Other Funding In-Kind ($)
Total Budget ($)
Staff / Board Development
Cost of Space
Materials & Supplies
Food & Snacks
Printing & Copying
Salaries and Wages
Project Director: The total requested for this position is $15,000, which represents 40% of his/her work time on the project at an annual salary of $37,500. Responsibilities include planning, development, and evaluation. Administrative Assistant: A full time A.A. is needed to provide general administrative support at an annual salary of $19,000. 2 Hike Managers at $10,000 a year each will provide informational services to the hikers and supportive services to them. 2 Safety Officers: 2 x $35.00/hour x 3 hours/day x 5 days/month x 12 months (Covered by matching funds).
This includes FICA, pension, health insurance, workers’ compensation, etc. Fringe benefits are calculated at 22% of total salaries of $64,000 ($14,080).
These are outsourced services or workers. These employees will not receive benefits. The project will fund 2 trainers who will work 3 hrs a a week x 36 weeks during the year. Trainers are paid $20/hr ($17,280).
Include trainings, retreats, seminars and conference expenses designed for professional development of the staff and board. An annual board retreat is estimated at $2,000. 4 staff will attend a full day training workshop on providing culturally sensitive counseling at $189 per staff ($2,756).
Cost of Space
This includes rent, utilities, furnishings, maintenance, and insurance. Rental of two summer facilities is $500 per month (lease included in grant proposal package) for 12 months, 4 desks at $150 each and 4 chairs at $50 each ($6,800).
Entail fax and copier rental/purchase, and computer equipment repair and maintenance. Lease of photocopier at $100 per month for 12 months. Purchase of 4 computers and printers at $750 per workstation ($4,200).
Materials and Supplies
These are administrative office supplies and program office supplies including but not limited to pens, pencils, paper clips, paper, notebooks, educational supplies, computer cartridges etc. ($1,000).
These encompass air travel, , conference travel expenses and per diem, in-town parking and mileage expenses. Staff Travel is estimated at 100 miles per per mile x 12 months. Participant travel is contracted at $1,000 per month (contract with bus company is attached) ($12,264)
These include all mailing including bulk, individual and special courier service delivery. Approximately 7,500 brochures will be mailed at a bulk rate of $0.22 per piece. ($2,500)
Food and Snacks
Include snacks to the participants and food charges such as end of year awards ceremonies. Funders frown upon food being served at board meetings. Example: Snacks are calculated at $1 per snack x 60 employees x 4 days a week x 36 weeks ($8,640).
Appalachian Trail Conservancy. (2011). Annual Report 2011. Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Appalachian Trail Conservancy. (2013). Events. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from www.appalachiantrail.org: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/events/2011/07/26/atc-cullowhee-2013
Appalachian Trail Conservancy. (2013). Staff. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from www.appalachiantrail.org: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/our-team
Appalachian Trail Conservancy. (2013). Trail To Every Classroom. Retrieved February 27,
2013, from www.appalachiantrail.org: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/what-we-do/youth-education/trail-to-every-classroom
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Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. (2013). About PATC. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from www.patc.net: http://www.patc.net/PublicView/About_PATC/PublicView/Custom/Fee_Events/More_about_PAT/About_PATC.aspx?hkey=e87e2ee3-faf0-4e8e-8a2b-0331e6a8f518