Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA)
Programs — NPS entered into cooperative agreements with OVTA for programming, such as the Annual Commemorative March involving over 11,000 students, 7,000 adults, 300 volunteers, and over 25 partners. OVTA held over 100 other programs throughout the year for over 8,000 students and 8,000 adults, involving over 140 volunteers. OVTA implemented a program where kids can earn a free patch for visiting any five sites along the Overmountain Victory NHT corridor.
Partnerships — OVTA partnered with the National Park Foundation (NPF) and trail partner sites to fund and host student field trips to historic sites along the trail. OVTA partnered with the NPS and NPF to provide free passes to fourth grade students and their families to over 2,000 Federal sites.
Land — NPS dedicated a new 5-mile section of the OVNHT along Lake Welchel, Gaffney, SC, including a new trailhead parking area to increase access and further recreational opportunity along the trail. NPS dedicated a new section of the OVNHT along Grassy Creek in Spruce Pine, NC, with additional trail construction under way in the Spruce Pine area. NPS completed the installation of a trailhead kiosk in CADA Park, Chesnee, SC, and completed the engineering design for a multiuse OVNHT pathway between Chesnee and Cowpens National Battlefield, SC.
Planning — NPS completed the Master Plan for the OVNHT for the trail segment from Abingdon, VA to Elizabethton, TN, and signed contracts to develop Master Plans for the segments from Spruce Pine, NC to Lake James State Park, NC and from Rutherfordton, NC to Chesnee, SC.
Maintenance — NPS held its third Youth Conservation Corps trail maintenance program.
Staffing — NPS hired a Trail Interpretive Ranger, a first for the trail. OVTA received a PNTS grant to hire an intern, Ethan Walling, to research and report best practices used by other trail and nonprofit organizations with the ultimate goal to provide guidance for the OVTA to hire an executive director. A 60-page report will be made available to any interested organizations.