Friday, January 15, 2010


Leave No Trace nonprofit partner The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is the only West Virginia nonprofit and the only trail organization nationwide to win a $25,000 grant in the first round of a Facebook-based charity campaign sponsored by the JPMorganChase Foundation, automatically becoming eligible for a chance at a $1-million one next month.

Tens of thousands of charities across the country competed for votes in the last month on the social networking site in a Chase Community Giving campaign that ended Dec. 12, with the 100 winners announced December 17, 2009.

Now in its second round, ATC has submitted a proposal stating what difference $1 million would make in their work:

The Issue

The ATC needs to identify and nurture the next generation of volunteer stewards of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a world-renown path for recreation as well as ecological biodiversity, wildlife migration, and watershed protection. Our challenge is to connect with today’s youth, to capture their imagination and enthusiasm, and seed a lifelong passion to protect our treasured resources for years to come.

The Plan

ATC will engage one million kids, families, and communities in outdoor recreation, education, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement via: a youth membership program with website and e-zine; local and regional competitions via quarterly A.T. Virtual Faires featuring environmental studies, service projects, and other Appalachian themed material; enhanced creation and exchange of information and educational materials related to the A.T., trailside communities, and environment through web-shared curricula, podcasts, and apps for GPS-enabled devices; a youth scholarship program in science, literary and performing arts recognizing aptitude and interests promoting ecological, environmental, and trail ethics.

The Outcome

By capturing kids’ imagination we will, over 3 years, inspire 1 million new enthusiasts to enjoy the Trail, outdoor recreation, and to engage in environmental stewardship through creative new outreach to kids and families, and the augmentation of ATC’s current programs.

Vote here today!

Voting opens today, and lasts one week - until January 22nd, 2010.

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