Donors make their impact

No matter where a contribution comes from – a family, a corporation or a foundation – there is one constant: a desire to protect Canada’s national Trail for generations to come. Discover the stories of just four of our many valued donors.

The Joan and Clifford Hatch Foundation

The Trail along Windsor’s waterfront.

One of Mary Hatch’s mantras is a fitting one for our times: “When the world is getting you down, get outdoors!”

It’s a philosophy that Mary has embraced since childhood, when she and her siblings would spend their summers camping in Algonquin or exploring their local trails in Windsor, Ontario with their parents, Joan and Clifford Hatch.

Joan and Clifford were keen outdoorspeople, and Clifford was very involved in the management of trails in Windsor. In 1971, Clifford established the Joan and Clifford Hatch Foundation, which is led by Mary and her siblings. To immortalize Joan and Clifford’s commitment to the outdoors, the Foundation supports worthy community projects, particularly those that are focused on education and conservation.

“When Canada’s sesquicentennial was coming up, we wanted the Foundation to do something really special,” Mary says.

In 2016, when Mary reached out to TCT to see how the Foundation could help, she discovered that there were two gaps between Trail sections in the Windsor and Essex County region. The Foundation agreed to fund TCT’s efforts to build short trails to join the gaps, helping to ensure the national connection of the Trail in 2017.

“We thought this was a great way to honour our parents and to celebrate this important moment in Canada’s history,” Mary says.

The Foundation has supported TCT every year since, and takes a specific interest in emergency repair work and accessibility upgrades.

Courtney Pratt

Courtney Pratt and his dog, Penny, on a walk near their home.

After a long career that spanned several industries, Courtney Pratt has turned his focus to a new passion in retirement – active walking and exploring the various trails where he lives.

And, although there are no sections of The Great Trail of Canada near his home in British Columbia, the Trail is a project that is particularly dear to him.

“The national scope of The Great Trail – the fact that this network connects us from coast to coast to coast – is something truly valuable,” he says.

Courtney started supporting the development of the Trail when he received a letter from Jack Cockwell in 2016. The letter was about TCT’s annual Cockwell Match, when Jack generously matches any donation to TCT over a number of weeks each summer.

“Jack and I are long-term colleagues and friends, so I decided to join in and support him,” Courtney says. “Now that I see the great work that TCT does and the strong example that Jack sets, I continue to donate every year,” he adds.

Joined by his wife Alexa and their dog Penny, Courtney walks on trails every day near his home. When he travels to other parts of Canada, he often seeks out sections of the Trail that he can discover.

For Courtney, promoting the Trail across Canada, while carrying out essential maintenance, is crucial.
“It’s imperative that we ensure The Great Trail is safe for people to use,” he says. “Work to remove fallen trees and to complete emergency repairs is really important for keeping our trails open, so that everyone can enjoy them.”

Jack and Jane Lockwood

Jack and Jane Lockwood on a cycling trip in Caledon, ON.

If there is one thing that Jane Lockwood wants to give the next generation, it is her passion for the great outdoors.

“Every child should be able to enjoy camping or cottage life when they’re young,” she says. “That love of nature will stay with them for life.”
It is this principle that drew Jane and her late husband, Jack, to make gifts in their wills to Trans Canada Trail.

A keen cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, Jack was well-known for riding his bicycle until the age of 89, and for planning trips with his family to Parry Sound and to the north shore of Lake Superior. He shared Jane’s love of exploring the outdoors, and they often travelled together to ski, sail and hike.
However, as time went on, Jane and Jack realized that much of what they wanted to experience was in Canada. It was around this time that Jack heard about The Great Trail. “Jack latched onto the idea of the Trail right at the beginning,” Jane recalls. “He just loved the idea, that this was something that would connect Canada.”

They bought a small motorhome, packed their bikes, and spent Jack’s last 20 years enjoying road trips and finding those hidden gems our country has to offer.

For Jack, the Trail encapsulated not only the need to protect natural spaces, but also to unite the country. In fact, Jack felt so strongly about the value of the Trail to future Canadians that he made the decision to include a gift in his will to support the Trail in the years to come.

After Jack’s passing in January 2020, Jane was moved to include TCT in her estate plans too.

“To anyone who loves the Trail, as Jack did and as I do, I would say this – please consider leaving a gift in your will to TCT,” she says. “The Trail gives young people a simple way to get outdoors and see nature in their neighbourhoods and across Canada.”

Altitude Sports

Altitude Sports

Now more than ever, we know that enjoying the outdoors and respecting the environment go
hand in hand. Inspired by this need to protect outdoor spaces, Altitude Sports supported TCT as part of their Alti Action program last year.

Alti Action allows Altitude Sports customers to donate $15 to one of three Canadian organizations. Customers who donate receive 30 Alti Dollars applicable to any future purchase on
TCT’s partnership with Altitude Sports began in fall 2019 and resulted in two fundraising campaigns, which raised a total of over $25,000.

These funds are being directed to essential Trail projects across the country.

“It’s a privilege to put together programs like Alti Action and partner up with organizations like TCT, people that share our goals and values,” says Maxime Dubois, Co-CEO at Altitude Sports.

“Altitude Sports is committed to reducing its environmental impact and is excited to support and protect our environment as partners of TCT,” he added.

A lasting impact

We extend our gratitude to the 31 donors who informed us that they have included TCT in in their estate plans.

Through gifts in their will, they are making made a lasting contribution to a national legacy that will benefit Canadians and visitors for generations to come.

Thank you!