Grant Proposal: Appalachian Trail Conservancy Grant

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[. . .] The Conservancy looks to these members for input, while maintaining an independent role and seeking to advance practices and strategies that best align with and support our mission. Therefore, to assess the extent to which the proposed project remedies the problems noted above, it will be necessary to quantify the results to measure the project's effectiveness. The following are the project objectives;

1. The employees and clients will learn about the Conservancy's pioneering efforts to value and invest in nature, mitigate related business risks and realize new opportunities for their own companies. Hikers will benefit from the Conservancy's core competencies in conservation planning, site-based conservation, habitat management, community outreach and capacity building, and conservation finance.

2. Network with peers from a variety of industries and sectors, united by an interest in valuing nature and biodiversity, harnessing green infrastructure, habitat conservation and improving the overall environmental performance of their company. This is due to the fact that the Conservancy provides a welcoming and transparent forum for participants to exchange ideas and experiences with peers from outside their sectors and the Conservancy.

3. Benchmark best practices by examining the outcomes of various collaborations developed among companies, the Conservancy and other groups to identify strengths, challenges and opportunities. The Conservancy contributes to this process through its science-based, results-oriented approach to conservation.

4. Contribute to conservation results by helping the Conservancy meet priorities and overcome challenges by sharing expertise, skills, experience and resources. Individual members might also develop new and deeper collaborations with the Conservancy that meet the particular objectives of the company and support the conservation of natural resources.

Methods and Procedures

The conservancy's reason for existence is the Appalachian Trail. Since its inception, the conservancy has had a wide variety of activities associated with building and maintaining the trail. Following the issuance of the grant, the organization will work with the community collaboratively to bring awareness to the Trail and to their respective community highlighting the Trail as a national resource and international icon. In the fall of 2013, the conservancy will provide hikers, parents and community partners with multi-faceted training. The first phase of staff development will prepare participants to fully utilize the existing trial marking resources and celebrating the official designation of Duncannon, Pennsylvania as the newest Appalachian Trail Community (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2013). Event activities will begin at 8:30am at area trailheads with hikes sponsored by local hiking groups with the designation festival titled 'Saving Our Community from Nature Deficit Disorder'. The designation festival will begin at noon at the Borough on Cumberland St. Activities include live music, vendors, workshops, presentations and raffle followed by a ceremony at 2:45pm.

Additionally, The Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program will be developed for K-12 teachers to provide them with the tools and training for place-based education and service-learning on the Appalachian Trail. In partnership with the National Park Service, this program will offer educators resources needed to engage their students in their local community, while growing academically and professionally. This program is developed to engage youth in volunteer activities, create a conservation ethic as well as form a respect for the Trail. In addition, the TTEC program will call on educators based along the Appalachian corridor to develop their own experiential learning curriculum based on state educational standards that integrate a hands-on study of the Trail (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2013). The program is divided into a series of three workshops; Regional Spring Workshop, Week Long Summer Institute and Regional Fall Workshop. Once these workshops are completed, ongoing support is provided to ensure success and mini-grants will be offered to teachers for curriculum implementation and graduate credit is offered.

With the grant funding, there will be renovation of the basement as well as various lounges. This phase of this project involves the renovation of the basement of ATC headquarters which highlights that the space currently being used for storing Christmas decorations for City Hall will be converted into a lounge. The main storage room will be converted into a restaurant and another section being a smaller store; this room will accommodate visitors during mealtimes, hiking equipment such as tents, maps, walking sticks among others. Renovation will consist of first transferring all the Christmas decorations to the basement of the newly constructed hall. Once that is accomplished, it will be necessary to paint the walls, install indoor/outdoor carpeting and set up the equipment. A second, smaller room will be converted into a locker room. Renovation will include painting the floors and the installation of lockers and benches. To complete the renovations, a third basement room will be equipped as a shower room. A local plumber will tap into existing plumbing to install several showerheads. Besides, there will be training of both clients and employees. Participating hikers must be trained in the safe, responsible use of the trail equipment and as such, Michael P. Wells, an independent environmental consultant from Norway will hold periodic training sessions at the facility.

The conservancy has 13 employees to manage the conservation activities of the trail but there is need the addition of two more employees. Once the funding is done, the positions required are field assistant and regional director both based in Central Virginia. These two people will support field survey work to monitor, maintain, and recover exterior corridor boundaries of ANST lands acquired to protect the Appalachian Trail (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2013). The positions will also support training workshops, and assist Trail Clubs to monitor, manage, and recover selected boundaries. The jobs require extensive travel and weekend work as well as visits to and physical inspection of Trail locations. The participants for the conservancy's activities are volunteers from any race but they must have a passion for hiking and enthusiastic about outdoor activities. Application forms for membership are available from the head offices and can be downloaded from the internet as well.

Evaluation Plan and Criteria

The Appalachian Trail is the most significant conservation corridor east of the Mississippi River. With headquarters in Harpers Ferry, ATC manages a 280,000-acre land base that has been documented as one of the most biologically diverse units of our National Park Service. Each year, more than 6100 volunteers contribute over 210,000 hours toward maintenance, environmental monitoring, community outreach, visitor services, and other trail-related activities (Karl, 1970). The Appalachian Trail is not only an internationally recognized recreational resource, but is also an important avian flyway and migratory corridor for wildlife. Trail lands contain and protect the source waters for approximately one third of the East Coast's drinking water. In 2006, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy launched the AT MEGA-Transect project, an ongoing large-scale environmental monitoring program that pairs teams of volunteer citizen scientists with professional research institutions in tracking the environmental health of the Appalachian Range over the long-term. In 2009, ATC launched A.T. Communities, a certification program for neighboring jurisdictions intended to promote sustainable business development for outdoor recreation and tourism, awareness of natural resources protected by the Trail corridor, youth involvement in volunteer conservation activities and service-learning, and land use planning that takes the biodiversity of the Trail and its scenic vistas into consideration. In 2010, ATC launched Appalachian Trail Communities, a certification program to help neighboring communities with sustainable tourism/recreation-based business development and conservation-friendly land use development that would help conserve priority conservation landscapes adjacent to the Trail (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2011).

Based on this, it is necessary to determine the extent to which the project has been adequately evaluated prior to beginning the renovation program. It will also be necessary to ensure that participating employees are working out the required three times per week. If the evaluator determines that any of these conditions are not being met, he will advise the project director who will correct the problem. Of primary interest is whether the proposed regimen actually improves the conservancy programs of the organization and increases clients served and satisfaction. To determine the extent to which the project is responsible for the improved conservancy to the organization, Dr. Updike will collect extensive data on the pre-project statistics of the participants (DeWalt & DeWalt, 2002). Multiple methods were used to collect data on the variable described above. The data collection was designed in a way that interrupted working processes and patient care as little as possible. This means that we collected as much data as possible from documentation, observation, and interviews. Additionally, we used questionnaires and forms for staff members to fill in to draw an extensive picture of the study.

The questionnaires provide extensive, descriptive data and further elaborated information gathered at the sites. The analysis of the questionnaire involved summarizing the data according to the research questions and exploring similarities and differences occurring among the research subjects. Research staff examined the interview information, observation reports, and questionnaire data for effective practices and barriers to effective practice, as well as for consistency between the reports and questionnaires. Data analysis began following each observation and interview, as researchers reviewed sources of information to identify recurring themes and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy Grant.  (2013, February 27).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/appalachian-trail-conservancy-grant/7294896

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"Appalachian Trail Conservancy Grant."  27 February 2013.  Web.  21 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/appalachian-trail-conservancy-grant/7294896>.

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"Appalachian Trail Conservancy Grant."  Essaytown.com.  February 27, 2013.  Accessed May 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/appalachian-trail-conservancy-grant/7294896.