Again in 2015, we will direct 20% of the funds we raise from our hikes to the preservation of wilderness trails. (Click here to see where the rest of funds raised will go.)
The majority of those funds are split between the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, with a small portion going to local nonprofit trail clubs in areas we have hikes away from the long trails.
For 2015, we will again designate up to 10% of the funds for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA).
The PCTA is a non-profit singularly focused on preserving, protecting and promoting the PCT. With the release of the movie Wild, there are record numbers of hikers expected on the PCT this year, and the challenge of maintaining the trail and educating hikers is greater than ever.
We are pleased to be accounted among the major sponsors of the PCTA.
Up to another 10% will be disbursed to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) for use in programs to address the increasing load on the Appalachian Trail.
In the past, we have designated this money for the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, which is a fantastic and worthy organization. With all the challenges the AT is facing from the increase in foot traffic, however, we felt that the time is right to direct those funds to the umbrella organization charged with overall coordination and care of the Trail. The ATC will allocate the funds to member clubs and/or programs that creatively address the increasing load on the Trail in a manner that preserves both the natural resource and the spirit of thru-hiking in the face of these new pressures.
The amount of the awards will be determined after we tally our donations at the end of November. Donations received in December will count toward our 2016 programs. Last year, we contributed $11,000 to trail preservation.
We are honored to be able to support the ATC and the PCTA, and we are continually grateful to the hikers, sponsors and donors who make it possible for us as a small all-volunteer organization to continue this work.