Just a few months ago, we were lucky enough to win a Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature.
The award, an honour in itself, included a prize of $5,000 that we could direct to any program of our choice.
Although we continue to fund Trail development across Canada, our staff opted to give something back.
Instead of keeping the $5,000 for our own programs, we’ve decided to distribute it evenly among five charities that are aligned with our values, as voted on by our staff.
“This is an unprecedented time for non-profits, including us, as we struggle to come to terms with the new financial realities caused by Covid-19,” says Simone Hicken, Vice-President, Resource Development at Trans Canada Trail.
“For us, this was a wonderful opportunity to ‘pay it forward’. There are many groups out there that are as deserving as our organization,” she adds. “In addition, it gave our employees, many of whom have family and other financial commitments, a chance to direct a one-time $1,000 gift to one of their favourite charities. So, everyone wins!”
“We’re grateful for every donation we receive, but we also love the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from giving back,” Ms. Hicken concluded.
Read on to find out more about our five choices.
Green Communities Foundation
The charitable affiliate of Green Communities Canada, the Green Communities Foundation is committed to delivering innovative and practical community programs, including energy efficiency, green infrastructure solutions for stormwater management, active transportation, zero waste, among other initiatives.
Their work to reduce flood damage in communities, to support healthy lifestyles, to work with Indigenous youth and to promote the value of walking is closely aligned with what we endeavour to accomplish.
Click here to find out more.
Plastic Ocean Foundation Canada
It’s estimated that at least eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans every single year. Since Canada is one of just two countries that are surrounded by three oceans, we have a unique responsibility to ensure these water systems are protected from the scourge of plastic pollution.
That’s why we decided to share part of our Nature Inspiration prize funding with Plastic Ocean Foundation Canada. This non-profit raises awareness of the damage caused by plastic pollution among school children, encourages consumers to change their behaviours and reduce plastic waste, and influences public policy on the issue.
To find out more about their work, click here.
Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program
The Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program is a non-profit society that works with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia to plan and build world-class mountain bike and recreation trails that support healthy communities, sustainable economic development and reconciliation.
Led by Patrick Lucas, an award-winning community planner and writer, the program teaches Indigenous youth how to build trails and encourages them to enjoy the great outdoors and active lifestyles.
Visit their Facebook page to find out more.
TCT and Park People share the belief that public parks have the power to deliver great impacts on many aspects of our lives: health, ecology, the economy and social belonging.
The national non-profit provides assistance and support to people across Canada to “activate” their parks for the betterment of their communities.
Park People works across Canada by offering programs and events, funding, resources, research and professional services to help local communities realize how their parks can reduce isolation, promote physical health and connect people to nature.
Discover the work of Park People on their website.
Based on the Pacific coast of British Columbia, Pacific Wild work tirelessly with a variety of communities, including local Indigenous peoples, to raise awareness and protect wildlife and their habitats in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Coastal wolves, grizzly bears, orcas and wild salmon are just a few of the many diverse and endangered species that Pacific Wild works to defend through awareness campaigns, wildlife monitoring and community-led initiatives.
To find out more about their work, visit their website.