The Patten Family Estate, which will host Saturdays events for TACF. Here is a photo of a working mill on the property
TACF Celebrates 25 Years!
25th Annual Meeting
TACF celebrated its 25th Annual meeting in
We hope you didn't miss this once is a lifetime event!
25th Anniversary Pin - Support the past 25 years of TACF and the next 25 years of TACF with the 25 th Anniversary pin.
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) has long been a source of beauty, challenges and enjoyment for the thousands of folks, who hike some or, all of it each year. From Georgia, all the way through to Maine, the AT inspires families, friends and neighbors to take a break and see some of the best the eastern half of the United States has to offer. Abundant wildlife, trees and flowers draw the young and old, rich and poor, strong and some not so strong (yours truly, included) not only to test themselves but also to be part of something bigger than themselves. As an ancient Chinese philosopher once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
So lace up those hiking shoes because TACF’s 25 th anniversary year begins with a seven-month hike along the Appalachian Trail, all 2,174 miles of it, for both TACF members and the general public, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scout, local trail groups and even your next door neighbor, with the goal of identifying surviving American chestnut trees along the trail.
Since the TACF’s A.T. journey won’t be hiked in a “linear” fashion, folks can start at any point on the trail. Hikers can count their miles by noting mile marker start and end points or by using an Appalachian Trail hiker’s guide which outlines the various mile points along the trail. Once you’ve hiked your miles, you can then enter them on TACF’s website. By completing as much of the Appalachian Trail as possible before October’s annual meeting, we will bring focused attention to the importance of restoring this mighty giant, the American chestnut, to its native forests as well as to the ongoing work of TACF, its state chapters and its volunteer community.
In addition to hiking the A.T. TACF will play a prominent role at each of the six events planned for this year and the first opportunity for hikers to start counting those miles will begin the weekend of March 1-2 at Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia when the A.T. officially opens for 2008. The end of the “chestnut journey” will take place in Chattanooga, Tennessee at TACF’s 25 th annual meeting October 24-26 with the completion (hopefully!) of all 2,174 miles.
25 th Anniversary Hiker Information
- As the A.T. is hiked, TACF members will be able to pass a commemorative baton as each section of the trail is finished within their state.
- You can hike all of the A.T. or hike just a mile
- TACF will be participating in the ATC’s Mega-Transect project which is designed collect valuable scientific data about American chestnut trees growing along the AT corridor.
- Each event will have a booth with a tent and signage for sponsors, etc. Booths will have giveaways including stickers and chestnut identification cards for hikers and items for sale including “Mighty Giants: An American Chestnut Anthology,” water bottles, t-shirts and such.
- Hikers will be able to enter the number of miles hiked on a special event webpage on TACF’s website
The idea of hiking the A.T. to study the American chestnut population began in 1999. Eric Wiese, a graduate student under the tutelage of Dr. Hill Craddock at the University of Tennessee, got permission to hike the A.T. and count the number of American chestnuts along the trail as part of his degree program. Craddock remembers, “ Eric’s proposal quickly developed into a project that promised to provide important information about American chestnut genetic resources. Knowledge of chestnut distribution and abundance and most importantly the locations of blooming American chestnut trees are essential to the restoration of the American chestnut.”
Some of the key findings from this 1999 study are listed below:
- 40,701 American chestnut trees were visible from the Appalachian Trail
- No American chestnuts were found along the trail north of the
- Vermont / Massachusetts state line because of the latitude and high elevation Chestnut trees are found at lower elevations in northern New England.
- Evidence of blooming and nut production was centered in Pennsylvania
- Population density of American chestnut was highest in the Nantahala Mountains of southwestern North Carolina.
Hike a mile for the American chestnut and join us on the Appalachian Trail! You may discover a new tree we can use in our breeding program, you may be reminded of the beauty and grace of the outdoors or you may just be thrilled to be part of a 2,174 mile journey!
TACF will be partnering with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) at each of the following events and the ATC For a complete list of events and contact information if you want to sign up to hike or volunteer at one of the festivals, see below:
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Trail Days, Damascus, Virginia
Trail Days in Damascus, VA is huge. The organizers claim that some years more than 20,000 people have attended. It's a very festive atmosphere but there is access to a lot of people. However, unless you have something to give away, tease visitors into your booth, or otherwise engage them, people are likely to pass you by. There's a lot of competition for festival-goers' attention. AT Conservancy usually gets about 1500 visitors to its booth, but they have a quiz, giveaways, prizes, etc. Contact is Tonya Triplett, and there is a $200 booth fee. It always seems to rain part of the time, so a good tent is vital.
National Trail Days, Harpers Ferry, WV
Participate with trail and conservation-related organizations in Harpers Ferry National Historial Park. The contact for HFNHP is Melinda Day at Melinda_Day@nps.gov. This year there was an event at AT headquarters office/visitor center as well, and they may consider another event next year. Laurie Potteiger is the main contact.
Long Trail Festival, Rutland, Vermont
The A.T. follows 100 miles of the Long Trail. You can find more info at http://www.longtrailfestivalvt.com/ or by contacting Wayne and Kathy Krevetski at wkrevetski@hotmail.
Mount Katahdin, Maine
TACF member Glen Rea will coordinate activities and publicity for this last event that takes place about a month before TACF's annual meeting.
TACF Annual Meeting, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Members of TACF and honored guests will present batons that have "walked" the trail in each state to the TACF board, etc. and tally of all miles walked will be taken.
Other A.T.-related festivals:
Hot Springs, NC — Trail Fest, end of April. http://www.hotspringsnc.org/frameset.php?MenuName=Events
Gettysburg, PA — the Gathering, always Columbus Day Weekend. http://www.aldha.org/gathring.htm.
GA Chapter is looking for volunteers to walk trail
Click here for more information