Janet Hensley has been selected to serve as the volunteer ambassador to the designated Appalachian Trail community of Unicoi County. In this role, she will serve as a community liaison to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the local volunteer club, the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, to bolster volunteerism and stewardship of the trail at the local level.
Hensley has been involved with the Appalachian Trail in Erwin for a number of years, as the owner of one of the town’s hiker hostels and as the coordinator of Appalachian Trail Summit Seminars, meant to generate greater understanding and positive relationships between hikers and the local business community.
The Appalachian Trail Community program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the trail. Towns, counties and communities along the trail’s corridor are considered assets by hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Appalachian Trail. The program serves to assist communities with local initiatives such as sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the trail. The Appalachian Trail Community Ambassador opportunity is the first of its kind within the cooperative management partnership.