HAMILTON, July 15, 2014 -
Supporters of the Bruce Trail showed their love of the trail this June not only with their footsteps but also with their pocketbooks.
In the month of June, individual donors contributed over $106,000 to support the Bruce Trail Conservancy's (BTC's) work in preserving land along the Niagara Escarpment, caring for that land, and making it publically accessible through the Bruce Trail. This outpouring of support will allow the BTC to further its success as a unique and thriving land trust.
More than $76,000 of the generous donations were directed to the BTC's Habitat Preservation Initiative to further its work to curb habitat loss along the Niagara Escarpment. Donors want the BTC to grow the Bruce Trail Conservation Corridor and to ensure it is accessible today and in the future.
An additional $30,000 in donations were generated through a unique pairing of conservation and adventure. On June 22, thirty-two brave adventurers set out to complete the BTC's 50 km Conservation Challenge - a 50 km, one-day hike on the Bruce Trail in the Beaver Valley. Every participant worked hard to share the message of their adventure and the need to raise critical funds for the BTC, and then hit the Trail for an experience of a lifetime. Hikers embodied the thrill of exploring the beautiful Beaver Valley landscape, propelled by the fact they were contributing to a grand effort to save the very ground on which they were walking.
BTC Executive Director Beth Gilhespy adds perspective to the outpouring of support: "Over 50 years ago the founders of the Bruce Trail believed that once people experienced the beauty and magnitude of the Niagara Escarpment, they would feel compelled to support its conservation. That sentiment still holds true. Every day people are acting in support of our work to secure a Conservation Corridor along the Bruce Trail. The contributions this spring demonstrate that people are making conservation a priority. Donors have supported the BTC's successful preservation of over 9,700 acres of Niagara Escarpment habitat since 1974. The BTC is a conservation leader only because of our donors' support. It allows us to do what we do best: protect and care for our irreplaceable Niagara Escarpment landscape."
Through its 50th Anniversary Milestones Project, the BTC plans to permanently secure and preserve 5,000 acres of Escarpment land, provide for their stewardship and rehabilitation, and ensure trails on these lands are cared for to the highest ecological standard.
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Photos from the 50 km Conservation Challenge >>
(on the facebook page of the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club)