Appalachian Trail Conservancy Honors Trail Conference Volunteers
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference volunteer and life member Ron Rosen joined the elite ranks of the few exemplary individuals awarded Honorary Membership at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) thirty-eighth biennial meeting. Ron was honored for his extraordinarily inspirational service to the Appalachian Trail.
For more than three decades, Ron has led the effort to build, protect, and maintain the trail, recruit and support its maintainers, and make the AT experience a rewarding one for its hikers. He helped redirect the trail off roadways, oversaw construction of two shelters, created workshops to train corridor monitors, wrote grants to educate trail neighbors, and instilled Leave No Trace principles in young AT campers. He cooked pancakes following an overnight function, and enlisted at-risk youth to help with boundary repainting.
Modeling Ron’s own outstanding dedication to the trail, the volunteers he recruited and coordinated gave decades of commitment to put in thousands of work hours, and at his prompting many of them merited awards from the National Park Service. (Officially designated the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the AT is a unit of the NPS). He fostered new channels of cooperation among volunteers and trail partners alike by holding picnics where all involved with the trail could meet and discover a greater shared vision.
Ron has been an invaluable guide to the hiking community as former chair of his area’s management committee, past coordinator of three different management committees, and current Trail Conference delegate to the Mid Atlantic Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Regional Partnership Committee.
Of Ron’s remarkable achievement in receiving the ATC’s Honorary Membership, friend and fellow AT maintainer Jim Haggett said admiringly, “Ron is certainly deserving and we are fortunate to have him active in the Trail Conference.” We could not agree more.
Ron is the third Trail Conference volunteer to be made an honorary member by the ATC. Past honorees are Larry Luxenberg, and the late Elizabeth Levers, past president of the Trail Conference and former ATC Chair.
25 Year Service Awards
Also honored at the ATC meeting were Trail Conference volunteers Salley Decker, Dorothy “Dot” Dwyer, and Joseph Hrouda. These three incredibly devoted individuals received 25-Year Service Awards from the National Parks Service for their long-term volunteer work on the Appalachian Trail, Salley and Dot as trail maintainers and Joseph as a shelter caretaker.