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Volunteers needed to work on Appalachian Trail

ASHEVILLE – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking volunteers to participate in an invasive exotic plant workday beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at Lemon Gap, along the Appalachian Trail (AT) on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. Carpooling to Lemon Gap will be available, and those interested should meet at 8 a.m. at the ATC’s Southern Regional Office parking lot, located at 160 Zillicoa St. in Asheville.
The free event, hosted by the ATC, will provide participants an opportunity to remove non-native invasive plants and protect the native biodiversity of the Lemon Gap area. Volunteers will target the highly-invasive plant Japanese spiraea (Spiraea japonica) by pulling small stems or cutting and applying herbicide to larger stems. This work is a continuation of control efforts which began in 2011.
The workday will begin with a brief educational workshop to train volunteers on the importance of native plant diversity, plant identification and safe work procedures. Participants will also receive free guidebooks for the identification and control of invasive exotic plants. Afterward, the group will work along the AT to remove spiraea and any other invasive plants encountered.
The ATC will provide all equipment needed for the workday. Volunteers are asked to wear long sleeves, long pants and sturdy hiking boots or shoes. Participants should also bring a lunch and at least two quarts of water. Those who carpool will return to Asheville by 5 p.m.
Individuals or groups interested in volunteering or carpooling should contact Rhys Brydon-Williams at rbrydon@appalachiantrail.org or by calling 828-254-3708. For more information about the workday, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/events.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the AT ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC 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. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.

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