Trailblazers arose from a community need to reverse the growing disconnect between America’s youth and the natural world, introduce new audiences to the outdoors, and build a skilled workforce committed to preserving local natural spaces.

The Trailblazers program is a community collaboration between the City of Charlottesville, through their Community Attention Youth Internship Program (CAYIP), the Shenandoah National Park Trust (SNPT), Rivanna Trail Foundation (RTF), Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC), and Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club(CAMBC).

This program functions as a part-time summer trail crew job for older teens in Charlottesville. Participants will be paid $15/hour for a 20-hour work week. 

This summer, a Trailblazers crew of Charlottesville individuals aged 16-18 will  engage with the outdoors while learning conservation and trail maintenance skills and actively contributing to their community.

Participants will spend five weeks working on the Rivanna Trail and other local trail systems while enjoying recreational opportunities in their city. The program will culminate with an intensive three-day trail work experience in Shenandoah National Park, giving participants an opportunity to meet and work alongside National Park Service employees.

Ultimately, the goal of Trailblazers is to empower the next generation of outdoor leaders and champions for public lands, both in their hometown and beyond.