SOUTH EGREMONT, Mass. (Sept. 12, 2019) – On October 11-13, the next generation of conservation enthusiasts and professionals are invited to attend the Massachusetts Youth (MY) Trail Summit, a hands-on retreat for students, educators and service leaders to learn about public lands, outdoor recreation and the importance of effective conservation practices. The summit will take place at April Hill Education and Conservation Center in South Egremont, Massachusetts, and will offer invaluable career skills for participants age 16 and older through a variety of stewardship activities, workshops and hikes.
The MY Trail Summit was developed through the collaboration between the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), Appalachian Mountain Club Berkshire Chapter, Greenagers, ROOTS Teen Center, UNiTY, the National Park Service and other conservation groups. Along with hikes on the Appalachian Trail, the MY Trail Summit offers regional youth networking opportunities with conservation leaders, allowing them to expand their employment and stewardship possibilities.
Participants in the Massachusetts Youth Trail Summit will participate in hands-on workshops to learn about environmental conservation and the importance of public lands, as well as future careers in conservation-based organizations.
“By creating this training opportunity for youth, educators and youth-serving organization leaders, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy hopes to foster new partnerships that will develop youth skills and create connections for volunteer and employment opportunities,” said Julie Judkins, director of education and outreach for the ATC. “The April Hill Center will provide a camping experience and backdrop for the inspiration needed to generate creative ideas for collaboration.”
Participants will gain leadership and community organizing experience by developing ideas and recommendations on critical conservation issues. As an added incentive, participants can receive a $100 stipend if they commit to 10 hours of creatively sharing their outdoor stewardship experiences after the Summit. All program and summit costs — including meals and lodging — are free to participants.
Youth aged 16 and older, leaders from youth-serving organizations, educators, and staff from organizations and agencies tasked with protecting public lands are all encouraged to apply today at tinyurl.com/MYTrails2019.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC 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 System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is 2,192 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.
Greenagers provides employment and volunteer opportunities for teens and young adults in the fields of conservation, sustainable farming, and environmental leadership. Through vocational-environmental programs and community engagement, Greenagers prepares youth for success in their education and work.
The Mission of ROOTS: To be a place in Northern Berkshire County where youth ages 14-22 are heard, encouraged, and empowered. The Vision of ROOTS: Through our hearts, minds, hands, and voices, we strive to be healthy and impactful youth, ready for the challenges of today and dedicated to building a stronger tomorrow.
UNiTY is the positive youth development entity of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. UNiTY seeks to bring together diverse groups of Northern Berkshire Youth in spaces and initiatives that allow them to express themselves while being empowered to make healthy decisions, be engaged in their communities, and become leaders in their lives.
About Appalachian Mountain Club
Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. We believe these resources have intrinsic worth and also provide recreational opportunities, spiritual renewal, and ecological and economic health for the region. Because successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors, we encourage people to experience, learn about, and appreciate the natural world.
About the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program
The National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation. Our national network of conservation and recreation planning professional partners with community groups, nonprofits, tribes, and state and local governments to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreation opportunities.