After a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors together, one couple from Ontario have made an extraordinary commitment to preserving access to nature for future generations.
Max and Marion Scholz, who live near Fergus, Ontario, are leaving a gift in their will to Trans Canada Trail (TCT).
With one son and no grandchildren, the couple say the decision to leave this gift was their way of protecting access to nature across the whole country.
“We wanted to ensure future generations of children have The Great Trail of Canada as a resource forever,” Marion says.
A passion for the outdoors
Throughout their long lives together, Max and Marion have shared a passion for exploring and protecting nature. When the pair retired, they embraced cycling in their newfound spare time, buying comfortable hybrid bikes to bring them on new adventures.
Many of these trips were on sections of The Great Trail in Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia.
“We valued the Trail because it allowed us to ride safely in scenic areas. In most cases, it was quiet and away from traffic,” Max recalls.
However, keeping fit wasn’t the only benefit they got from their journeys on the Trail. Marion, a long-time birdwatcher and passionate environmentalist, also loved the connection the Trail provided with nature across Canada.
“I would bike along with my binoculars dangling around my neck, until Max got me a harness to keep them in place,” Marion says.
“I really enjoy seeing unusual birds. Once, I even came face to face with a heron on the Trail. I feel that the Trail really helps us to build a connection to nature.”
Looking to the future
While they might not be cycling along the Trail anymore, Max and Marion still make an effort to walk their dogs on the Trail near their home whenever they can.
“We have a large German Shepherd and Husky mix that makes us walk on the Trail every day, no matter the weather, which is good for us too,” Max says.
For Max, the connection of the Trail across Canada represents an incredible national achievement. However, he and Marion are looking forward to the addition of new Trail sections in the future – particularly in northern regions.
“We’re proud of TCT and their volunteers for their perseverance in getting the whole Trail connected from coast to coast to coast,” Max adds.
We are grateful to donors like Max and Marion, who have immortalized their commitment to The Great Trail in their estate plans. To find out how you can support a national legacy that will benefit Canadians and visitors for generations to come, visit TheGreatTrail.ca/Give.