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Volunteers needed for Appalachian Trail work

ASHEVILLE – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking volunteers to help with a work project at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Walnut Mountain open area along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Carpooling to Walnut Mountain is available, and those interested should meet at 8 a.m. at the ATC’s Southern Regional Office parking lot, located by the U.S. Forest Service Office at 160 Zillicoa St. in Asheville.
The primary goal of the work project, which is funded by a grant from the National Forest Foundation, is to improve vistas from the Walnut Mountain open area. The work will expand views of Max Patch and of the French Broad River valley north of Hot Springs. The project offers the opportunity to visit one of the more scenic spots on the trail and learn about additional A.T. conservation initiatives.
“Come join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and help maintain the beauty of this popular stretch of the Appalachian Trail,” said Morgan Sommerville, ATC regional director. “Volunteers are crucial to our trail management efforts, and we would love to have your support during this workday.”
During the workday, participants will clear brush with chainsaws, bladed trimmers and hand tools. U.S. Forest Service chainsaw certification is required to operate chainsaws, but non-certified volunteers are also needed to mow smaller brush and move small diameter logs for future trail construction. Additional work tasks include removing invasive exotic plants and maintaining the foot trail.
The ATC will provide all equipment needed for the workday, including personal protective equipment. 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 should contact Rhys Brydon-Williams at rbrydon@appalachiantrail.org or by calling 828-254-3708.

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