STATEWIDE, Maine — The Maine Appalachian Trail Club announced receiving a $10,000 grant from LL Bean, carrying on a three-decade-long tradition. The LL Bean grant supports the club’s Caretaker and Ridgerunner Education Program at Horns Pond in the Bigelow Mountains, Piazza Rock near the Saddleback Mountain Range and Gulf Hagas in Central Maine.
Working with approximately 8,000 hikers recreating on the Appalachian Trail, club caretakers and ridgerunners teach Leave-No-Trace ethics and provide a daily presence on trail lands to protect alpine plants, water quality and wildlife habitat, and deter vandalism.
Grant dollars assist MATC’s outreach to groups that use the A.T. in Maine by helping fund production of a pre-season packet distributed to approximately 100 colleges, high schools and summer camps annually.
In 1980, LL Bean signed up as a trail maintainer, taking responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of an 18.5 miles stretch of the A.T. along the 100 Mile Wilderness. More than 39,000 volunteer hours have been logged by LL Bean employees, family members and friends over the past three decades.
The club is an all-volunteer, donor-supported nonprofit that welcomes new members. For information, go to www.matc.org or on Facebook.