NORFOLK, Va. — Employees of Norfolk Southern Corp. are teaming up with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and local trail-maintaining clubs in a one-day “Spruce-It-Up” campaign to clean and improve one of the nation’s longest and most popular scenic trails.
The 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail roughly parallels the 2,500-mile Crescent Corridor, a multistate freight rail network that Norfolk Southern is improving with the help of local, state, and federal partners to create green jobs, stimulate local economies, and help relieve highway congestion.
“These two initiatives – the Appalachian Trail and the Crescent Corridor – demonstrate how the employees of Norfolk Southern share and support our corporate commitment to responsible sustainability practices that are good for communities, customers, and stockholders,” said Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer of Norfolk Southern. “The Appalachian Trail is adjacent to a large portion of our operating territory, and many of our employees are avid hikers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.”
Members of the company’s official employee volunteer organization, The Thoroughbred Volunteers, are pooling resources in four locations on Saturday, July 24, for the “Spruce-It-Up” campaign. It’s the biggest single volunteer project taken on by the organization, founded in 2006.
“We’re delighted that Norfolk Southern employees have joined the ranks of volunteers who are dedicated to preserving the Appalachian Trail,” said Jeanne Mahoney, volunteer resources coordinator for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “The trail is a natural resource to be treasured and forever preserved, and this effort helps us achieve our mission.”
NS employees will work on the Appalachian Trail at three locations, and another group will work at a seaside state park.
In Atlanta, employees will work with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club to transport lumber and other materials for refurbishing the Plumorchard Gap Shelter in North Georgia, one of more than 250 backcountry shelters located along the AT.
A group in Harrisburg, Pa., will work with the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club, clearing brush from the AT at Pine Grove Furnace State Park and spreading stone in a nearby parking lot.
Roanoke, Va., employees, working with the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, will clean culverts and ditches and cut back tree overgrowth at AT landmark McAfee Knob near Catawba, Va.
Norfolk, Va., employees will assemble at False Cape State Park on the coast in Virginia Beach, working with the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club to remove trash and debris. The Tidewater club helps maintain the AT as well as the park.