Kayla Carter is one of 15 people the conservancy describes as “motivated, inspirational individuals,” who are “a diverse group of leaders ages 18 to 28 who will encourage their peers to become involved in the management, preservation and stewardship of the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail.”
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is thrilled to have this group of young, innovative and creative leaders as part of our governance structure to provide relevant input and guidance,” said Julie Judkins, the ATC’s director of education and outreach “We have high hopes that this council will help us design programs and policies that will encourage membership, advocacy and leadership from a younger and more culturally diverse population.”
In addition to Carter, the founding members of the Next Generation Advisory Council include: Alivia Acosta, Brady Adcock, Oforiwaa Lee Agyei-Boakye, Grace Anderson, Olympia Bowker, Stephen Eren, Kelly Garvy, Evan Liddy, Marcela Maldonado, Kristin Murphy, Tony Richardson, Adam Stewart and Allie Thompson.
Carter, a former reporter with the Johnson CIty Press, hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2014. She is also a member of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, a group responsible for managing and maintaing the trail through Upper East Tennessee.
“The hiking club is always looking for volunteers to help with trail maintenance,” Carter said. She hopes to use her position to encourage young people who use the trail to help with maintaining it.
Carter said she is also interested in seeing Carter County designated as an Appalachian Trail Community by the ATC.
“The county already meets all the requirements,” Carter said. She attended a meeting of the Carter County Commission last year in which the idea of becoming a trail community was discussed.
Carter is also a volunteer for the Appalachia CARES/AmeriCorps, and is a volunteer curator for the Lexicon of Sustainability.