With much gratitude, the Great Divide Trail Association wishes to thank all those who donated to our 2021 Trail Supporter Campaign, and all our donors who have contributed in other ways.
The 2021 Trail Supporter Campaign was the GDTA’s 2nd annual Trail Supporter Campaign. It was kicked off on Giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021, with a donation goal of $5,000. Surprisingly, this goal was reached in only one week! Thus GDTA planners, especially those involved with trail building and maintenance needs, put their heads together to identify needed projects that may have been out of reach due to budget constraints. They identified the severely overgrown and remote Jackpine Valley as a possible project in 2022 with the addition of more funds, and tallied up how much this project would cost. With some debate and hesitancy about aiming too high, in early December the Trail Supporter Campaign goal was modified to $12,500 to cover the Jackpine Valley project.
To spread the word, a social media campaign greatly helped the effort throughout December. Periodic posts were made to the GDTA Facebook page and Twitter account. Status reports were emailed to GDTA Subscribers. This was a great effort by the GDTA digital media team, and campaign leader, Meaghan Underhill.
With this in mind though, the true stars of this campaign were all the Donors. Large and small, donations amazingly added up to more than $21,000! Far above any amount imagined when the Trail Supporter Campaign started. Who would have thought?! And to top it off we received several comments on our donation forms that were very inspirational:
“Keep up the stewardship of this amazing trail!”
“Thanks for all the great work you do!!!!!”
“GDT class of 2021! Loved the trail and happy to support its maintenance”
“Thanks for all the hard work you do!!!!”
“Thank you for all the tremendous work you do … You’re all amazing!”
“Thanks for the great work on trail building.”
“Thank you for all the behind the scenes work you are doing to create a trail that is changing lives…”
“Hey, I hope this small donation helps with all of these amazing projects. I love the GDT so much!”
“We hiked Waterton to Banff summer 2021. The trail is an amazing legacy for Canada. Thanks for protecting it.”
“I had an incredible time thru-hiking the trail in 2020! Thank you for all your fantastic work!”
The Great Divide Trail Association, all its volunteers, trail builders, bridge builders, trail maintenance crews, hikers, and equestrians say:
THANK YOU DONORS ONE AND ALL!!!
You have enabled many worthy projects to continue building and maintaining the Great Divide Trail. A very ambitious trail building and maintenance season is being planned for this coming summer. It will involve multiple projects in Alberta and BC. Our trail projects are becoming increasingly complex and multidimensional – for example, helicopter transport into the extremely remote Jackpine Valley. Additionally, these funds support our emerging youth program. Similar to last year, we will continue with safety protocols as necessary to protect our volunteers as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.
- High Rock Trail, AB – We still have some work to finish and officially open the new HRT in 2022!
- David Thompson Heritage Trail, BC – Continue rehabilitating the 13 km of floodplain susceptible trail, and maintaining 2 bridges.
- Collie Creek Trail, BC – Restoring and preserving this historic connection between Howse Pass and Amiskwi Pass.
- Original GDT, AB – Maintaining the original 100 km of the GDT, including replacing up to four old and damaged bridges.
- Youth Trail Trip Initiative – We are excited to continue providing support for youth and young adults to volunteer on our trail trips, including camp tents, tools, and training.
- Colonel Creek Trail, BC – Much needed maintenance of the fire damaged trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park.
- Jackpine River, AB – Continue trail clearing in the remote Jackpine River Valley in Willmore Wilderness Park.
- Future needed campground maintenance and enhancements.
Additionally, this donor generosity ensures we have:
- Tools needed – chainsaws, brush cutters, pole saws, loppers, hand saws, gasoline, etc.
- Trail crew commons shelter, equipment, and supplies.
- Transport to very remote places for heavy supplies and equipment, and crews.
We are truly amazed at how the community came together with so much generosity. It’s encouraging and heartwarming to see how much the trail means to so many and that they stepped forward to tangibly support the organization. A heartfelt “Thank you!” goes out to all who contributed this year. This also includes our volunteers who work on the trail as well as behind the scenes to keep the organization running. The vision of a world class long-distance trail straddling the Great Divide of the Canadian Rockies – full of scenery, challenge, and adventure – is made possible by people like you.