The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) hosted neighbors and partners of the Great Barrington Trails and Greenways Alliance on July 24 at the ATC Kellogg Conservation Center in celebration of the successful 2009 A. T. Community Partners program. This event served as a big ‘thank you’ to the many volunteers, organizations, and businesses that have gone the extra mile to make Great Barrington and its surrounding areas a more hike, bike, and walk-friendly place.
Organizations in attendance included: The Great Barrington Land Conservancy, The Sheffield Land Trust, The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Berkshire Chapter of the Mass. A.T. Committee.
The evening began with a hike on the A.T. to the Jug End Lookout for a fantastic northward view of the Housatonic River Valley in Southern Berkshire County.
Following the hike, attendees enjoyed a picnic and presentation of the A.T. Community Partner program successes in 2009, including guided hikes, tales from the trail program, A.T. documentary screening, trail building work trips, and a young interviewer series involving students interviewing A.T. thru hikers.
Great Barrington and the ATC are pleased with the progress of this program which has strengthened the community’s enjoyment and stewardship of many natural resource areas, including their own special segment of the A.T. Partners in the program hope that these connections enhance the dedication and vision that will sustain South Berkshire County as an enjoyable outdoor destination.