Cedric Kopa, first Black completer of the MST in 2020, with Howard Lee, who in 1977 as secretary of what is now the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, first proposed the MST. Photo by Jerry Barker.
As the community supporting North Carolina’s longest footpath, Friends of the MST helps all North Carolinians know about, feel safe on and learn about the lands and people who live or have lived along the route of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. We strive to build a trail and community that reflects and honors the diversity of North Carolina.
Over the past year, Friends of the MST has created and begun work on a Priority Action Plan. Many of our initial priorities revolve around making the trail and our community an inclusive place. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Community is stronger when it is diverse and inclusive.
One of the first items completed is that the Friends’ Board of Directors approved a Land Acknowledgment and Commitment Statement.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail respectfully acknowledges that the trail traverses traditional and ancestral homelands of indigenous peoples whom we honor as the original stewards of the land.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail strives to provide equal opportunities to all trail users, and does not tolerate discrimination against any trail user or member of the trail community based on race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation or identity, or status as a special disabled veteran or veteran.
Policies and practices of Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail will reflect our commitment to promote access, equity and inclusiveness, and to discourage discrimination that denies the essential humanity of all people.
We look forward to sharing updates on all these priorities.