Conservation leaders celebrate 40th Anniversary of The Bruce Trail with a new name

Conservation leaders celebrate 40th Anniversary of The Bruce Trail with a new name

HAMILTON - Coinciding with the Bruce Trail's 40th anniversary year, The Bruce Trail Association will move forward as The Bruce Trail Conservancy.

From its modest start as The Bruce Trail Association in 1963, followed by the opening of the Bruce Trail in 1967, the organization has grown to be one of the largest land trusts of its kind in Canada and a highly respected conservation leader. The name change to The Bruce Trail Conservancy better reflects the true scope of the charitable organization's commitment to preserving a conservation corridor along the Niagara Escarpment.

"Although widely recognized as a trail building and hiking organization, the idea of the Bruce Trail was born in the minds of life-long naturalists whose driving aim was to protect the Niagara Escarpment and the unique plants and animals that call it home", notes Bruce Trail Conservancy President Robert Ellison. "Their vision was to provide the public at large with an easy way to enjoy the Escarpment with the hope that knowing would lead to caring, which in turn would lead to the will to protect this natural treasure."

Their vision proved true. Forty years after its official opening, the Bruce Trail now acts as the string connecting over 100 parks and conservation areas along the length of the Niagara Escarpment from Queenston to Tobermory. Tens of thousands of acres of Escarpment land is now protected and provides invaluable public recreation opportunities, all within two hours drive of the largest urban population in the country. In addition, the organization has been directly responsible for the conservation of over 6,000 acres of land along the Escarpment of which approximately 5,000 acres is stewarded by dedicated volunteers in our unique Land Stewardship Program.

"The Bruce Trail Conservancy is the right name for this organization" says Executive Director Beth Kümmling "It reflects our role as a conservation organization protecting land on the Niagara Escarpment, while still acknowledging that the Bruce Trail is a strong part of our history and is our means of raising public awareness for the protection of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve"

The process of changing the name to The Bruce Trail Conservancy began in 2005 and involved consultation and communication with the Board of Directors, Bruce Trail Clubs and the organization's 8,000 members. The historic name change was approved by the membership at the 2007 Annual General Meeting.

Concludes Robert Ellison, "Those that love the Bruce Trail will be pleased to know that we are not changing what we do. We are simply renaming ourselves so that people more easily recognize all aspects of our organization's work - from establishing and maintaining the Bruce Trail, to protecting and preserving the beautiful landscape of the Niagara Escarpment

All contact information will remain unchanged - www.brucetrail.org1.800.665.HIKE 905.529.6821

The Bruce Trail Conservancy is a charitable organization committed to establishing a conservation corridor containing a public footpath along the Niagara Escarpment, in order to protect its natural ecosystems and to promote environmentally responsible public access to this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.