In 2009, Franklin became the first town in the nation to gain the Appalachian Trail Community Designation. Now, almost five years later, 35 towns are known as AT communities. In 2015, the designation is up for renewal. At Monday's Board of Aldermen meeting supporters spoke out to recommend keeping the designation.
Rob Gasparro, co-owner of Outdoor 76 – an outfitters store that specializes in outdoor recreation specific to the region and located on Main Street – was among the first to address the board.
“Our market is the AT community. If there's one thing that our town has to hang on to, it's that designation,” he told the board.