Thank you so much to the thirteen women who came out on Sunday, November 11 to be part of an initiative that hike leader and trail maintainer, Marit Anderson, is involved in to encourage more diversity on the Appalachian Trail. Shalin Desai, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Board Member, did a presentation earlier this year to our club about this initiative, and Marit has teamed up with Delia Clark from Taftsville, VT to lead the ATC Women's Affinity Group in conjunction with the initiative. This was an initial project to bring women on the AT to do trail maintenance. We had a productive
day working on a 1.5 mile section from Beagle Gap past Calf Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. Andy Wilgruber from our Charlottesville PATC club oversees this section, but is extremely busy with a new toddler and has much to do just keeping his section mowed . We wanted to give him some assistance, so he encouraged us to repaint blazes, cut vegetation and remove blow downs, and build some water bars on steep areas of the trail. All was accomplished by these industrious women, completing all the re-blazing, cutting back vegetation on the entire section, and creating 10+ water bars and run-off ditches. We took a nice break in the middle of the day to have lunch and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies at Calf Mountain enjoying the view and greeting hikers at this popular area. Our volunteers for the day included Francy Rubin coming all the way from Lynchburg (Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club), SNP Rangers Jessica Kusky and Bobbi Ann Pease, PATC newcomer- Carla Anderson, Emerald Young, Sonny Choi, Nancy Handley, Jeanne Siler, Barbara Martin, Marian Styles, Ann Hays, and Marie Moss. We have had interest by others to have future women's trail maintainer projects, so look for these on our blogspot, as well as other events related to the initiative.
submitted by Marit Anderson