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February 2012 Volunteers of the Month
Elizabeth McGowan and Don Looney
(Photo submitted by Elizabeth McGowan)
Elizabeth McGowan and Don Looney have been maintaining trails in Rock Creek Park, DC for the last 7 years. They are the overseers of the Whittier, Holly and Pine Trails in the northeast section of the Park, near Walter Reed and 16th Street.
Elizabeth is from Wisconsin and Don is from South Carolina. They happened to meet when both decided to through-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1991. They met along the Trail and the rest is history.
After their through-hike, Elizabeth and Don got more involved with PATC, first as the caretakers of the Blackburn Trail Center during the 1992 through-hiking season. They got their hands dirty with the DC trail crew (aka The Filibusters) and have regularly contributed to crew dates on Saturday mornings since 2005. They have earned two Service Awards each for their contributions in recent years.
Elizabeth works full-time for the environment as well, as a journalist covering energy and environmental issues. Don is a glazier…installs windows… for a living (perhaps he needs to be recruited for cabins). Otherwise, they enjoy long-distance cycling, exploring parks and land restoration.
PATC recognizes the contributions of Elizabeth and Don. Happy Valentine’s Day.