The FSC was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from REI (Recreation Equipment Inc.) through a partnership with the Brentwood REI store associates. The grant will help the rangers purchase much-needed rescue equipment and trail building tools.
Naullain Kendrick, FSC Board member, said,”REI has been a wonderful partner to us in the past year, especially helping with the Fiery Gizzard re-route efforts. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with them on even more projects. Special thanks to Liz Staudt and Brenda Mikec and all the staff at the Brentwood store.”
South Cumberland attracts a wide range of users— including climbers, cavers, and backcountry campers. As visitor numbers increase, so do the number of rescues. In 2015, 14 rescues were conducted during the year. Already this spring, South Cumberland rangers have conducted seven rescues.
George Shinn, Interim Park Manager, noted that the partnership with REI is very welcome. “What a great company to come alongside our park. They are supporting us with both money and muscle.” Added Shinn, “South Cumberland is very appreciative of these funds which will help with our immediate trail reroute effort and help us care for our 90 miles of trail for years to come. While we hope none of our users ever need to be rescued, we want to have the best equipment available for those moments when it is necessary.”
The REI grant will allow the rangers to purchase a Rescue Litter (stretcher) for transporting injured or incapacitated hikers and a Universal Litter Wheel that will fit a wide range of litters, including ones now in use at the park. Additional funds will be used to purchase chainsaws, shovels, and other tools needed for the ongoing Fiery Gizzard trail building and for maintenance on other trails.