A Trail of Love
Wanda and Troy Brown love each other, love the outdoors and love for others to enjoy experiencing the Chattahoochee National Forest.
“We can make a difference in other people’s lives through our relationships,” says Wanda. “The most precious gift we can give is love for others and from that love grows the desire to volunteer our time and resources more than ever.”
Since 1991 Wanda and Troy Brown volunteer hundreds of hours each year maintaining more than 300 miles of public trails in Georgia’s Conasauga Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Brown’s work allows thousands of people to experience this natural environment safely each year by providing clear access to the forest. A decline in federal funding for trail maintenance resulted in a backlog of trail maintenance needs and a significant reduction in the quality and safety of the trail system. Together the couple spent nearly 800 hours in 2009 working on trails in the rugged terrain of the North Georgia Mountains. Thanks to their efforts, the district’s trail system is now recognized as one of the best maintained in the Southeast.
Their volunteer activities involve not only the physical work of maintaining trails, but they also provide leadership for the trail volunteer program. They lead volunteer crews, provide training, recruit new volunteers and maintain a volunteer database. They were instrumental in bringing the volunteer group together to form a non-profit organization, Conasauga District Trail Volunteers (CDTV), Inc. in 2009. They have both served as board members and officers in the organization since then.
Through Troy and Wanda’s dedication and leadership, the trail volunteer program on the Conasauga Ranger District has grown from a small number of volunteers in 1991 to what is today a national award-winning program with 200-300 volunteers contributing some 8,000 hours annually to the protection of the public’s trails. Under the Brown’s tutelage many fledgling volunteers have continued on to become trail maintenance veterans, teachers and crew leaders. The program continues to grow thanks to the inspiration and dedication of Troy and Wanda.
“Volunteering is just another way to show appreciation for all the gifts God has given us,” says Wanda. “We can make a difference in our environment.”
A Trail of Love