CAN'd Aid Foundation Grant will Support New Conservation Leadership Corps Along the Appalachian Trail

Date Published: Feb 18, 2016

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (Feb. 18, 2016) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has partnered with the CAN’d Aid Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Oskar Blues Brewery, to launch the new Appalachian Trail Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC). The corps offers service-based internships in the outdoors that are focused on conservation leadership, professional development, and employment preparedness. CAN’d Aid, whose efforts support Towns, Tunes, Treads + Trails and Love Yur Mama programs, has provided a $10,000 grant to support the initiative.

The CLC provides valuable training and work experience to 18- to 25-year-olds who are new to the outdoors by introducing natural resource management skills and a professional network so participants may compete effectively for conservation jobs. Experiences will include engagement in Trail Crew operations, invasive species control, and Appalachian Trail (A.T.) visitor use management. Program focus areas are determined based on regional conservation priorities of the ATC, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with local volunteer organizations.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to partner with the CAN’d Aid Foundation to launch a program that is vital to engaging young and diverse conservation leaders,” said Julie Judkins, the ATC’s Education and Outreach director. “Participants will complete their time with the Conservation Leadership Corps having gained the most sought-after stewardship skills and connections with the agencies who are looking for those skills.”

 First-class training programs will be fundamental to the CLC so that participants gain lasting place-based conservation skills including Leave No Trace, Wilderness First Aid, and cross-cut saw certifications. The experiences gained through CLC will boost participants’ resumes and confidence in natural resource protection and reflect the value of time spent with the ATC. The corps serves as a pipeline for future employment with the ATC and prepares participants with the skills necessary for employment with public lands and the greater environmental movement. The 10-week paid internship program begins in May and ends in July.

“With our Treads + Trails program, we’re all about getting children and adults engaged in living active and healthy lifestyles,” said Sarah Leavitt, program director for CAN’d Aid Foundation. “This partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is an exciting opportunity to not only cultivate an appreciation for the outdoors, but introduce hiking, the Appalachian Trail and environmental stewardship to a new generation.”

The ATC will work with Groundwork USA to recruit participants for the CLC. For more information about the corps or the recruitment process, contact Julie Judkins at or call 828.254.3708.

About the CAN’d Aid Foundation
We dig bikes, beer, music, food and family and we’re rallying around what we love to raise money for things that matter.  What started as a response to the 2013 floods in Colorado has evolved into an irreverent nonprofit that has raised $1.2 million to support its “do-goodery” efforts:

            Towns: Building strong communities

            Treads + Trails: Get outside and get after it!

            Tunes: For your eyeholes and earholes

            Love Yur Mama: Save the blue marble

For more information, contact or call 970.272.5156.

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 approximately 2,190 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

Contact: Javier Folgar                                                                   
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0481
Fax: 304.535.2667

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