A Week of Impact: Rochester Institute of Technology’s 2024 Alternative Break

Since 2008, American Hiking Society has run the Alternative Break program, which allows students to engage in meaningful service projects to conserve and maintain our nation’s trails and natural areas.

Today, we highlight our Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) volunteers who traveled to Cloudland Canyon State Park to restore sections of the West Rim, Back Country, and Cloudland Connector trails. In a week, the crew restored over six miles of trail and demolished and rebuilt a dilapidated bridge.

The project host spoke fondly of the volunteers from RIT, emphasizing that “the students were very eager to learn about working outdoors. Most of them had no previous experience yet they were willing to learn and try out the hand tools. They become competent in using the tools and understanding how to make trail improvements.”

One volunteer from the RIT echoed this sentiment by saying that “it was so much fun to do work and make a difference to trails and make them more accessible and less dangerous while also having a good time with some really great people”.

Another participant beautifully summed up their Alternative Break trip as ‘absolutely life-changing’. It was a journey that not only empowered volunteers to do hard work that makes a difference, but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and personal growth. Surrounded by wonderful people, this experience left RIT students feeling inspired.

We cannot express enough gratitude to all the RIT volunteers. Their dedication and hard work have made a significant difference in our trails and natural areas. Their commitment to conservation is truly commendable, and we value your contribution immensely. We send our sincerest thank yous to them for being a part of our journey!

To learn more about how to get involved with volunteer projects at AHS, visit the American Hiking website.

American Hiking Society's Alternative Break program offers college students the opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment.