DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Sal Fulginiti, Hiker, Volunteer Maintaining Trails
Sal Fulginiti, a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture employee, spends his free time hiking and helping to maintain the natural areas that he likes to explore, including trails and state parks across the state.
He has worked at the Department of Agriculture for 28 years, currently working in lab supply. Previously, he spent 14 years working at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
An avid hiker, Sal would routinely run into trail maintenance groups and other volunteers while he was out on the trail.
He asked these groups who they were and what they did, and, after some research, was impressed to find that the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club operated trail projects throughout four states.
Sal thought this was a perfect opportunity to give back to the recreational resources he loved to enjoy.
He joined a Potomac Appalachian Trail Club work trip at the Waggoner's Gap Audubon Hawk Watch, and the rest is, as they say, history. Ten years later, he is still an active member.
Sal assists the club in many ways, from trail construction and relocations, to general maintenance and tree removal.
Lately, he has assumed the role of a “swamper,” which is a person who helps a “sawyer” by rolling logs and debris off the trail the sawyer cuts.
He also is certified in Wilderness First Aid and actively looks out for his crew’s safety, especially when cutting trees.
Sal enjoys long distance day hiking and backpacking; and has visited Kings Gap Environmental Education Center often over the years. For the past year, he has volunteered to help maintain the trails there as well.
For Sal, the health benefits of maintaining trails and getting outdoors are a plus, but he volunteers for a bigger reason.
“The main reason I do this -- is that I feel it’s important to encourage others to get outdoors and experience what the Pennsylvania woods have to offer,” he says. “If you enjoy the trails, it’s also important to give back, even in subtle ways, so they stay open for all to enjoy. It is rewarding to know that families spend their days hiking on trails you help maintain.”
Sal also regularly works on trails in other states; and looks for interesting volunteer opportunities that he can fit into his schedule.
Recently, he has been coordinating with the Cumberland County Historical Commission on a church and cemetery renovation in Mount Holly Springs.
Sal has found his experience with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club both a rewarding and thoughtful one. He thinks it’s amazing how people of all walks of life can organize and come together to work for a cause that benefits society.
Sal says that, “No challenge either on the trails or in daily life is insurmountable, especially if we work as a team.” Sal, a lifelong Cumberland Valley resident, lives in Mechanicsburg.
Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature? Contact DNCR by sending email to: email@example.com to nominate someone.
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[Posted: June 13, 2019]
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