Government of Canada invests in dedicated trail-improvement team

Building and improving trails across Canada

June 22, 2010

From Parks Canada and IMBA Canada

arrow See the schedule of the Trail Care Crew in Canada for 2010


Toronto, Ontario, June 22 2010 -- On behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges-Markham, today announced that the Government of Canada will be investing in the creation of the Trail Care Crew. This full-time, professional team of trail experts, based on the highly successful U.S. Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew will travel Canada year-round working on and visiting trails in order to improve outdoor opportunities for all Canadians.

“I am proud to announce that the Government of Canada will be contributing $200,000 over three years to the Canadian office of the International Mountain Bicycling Association for the creation of the National Trail Care Crew,” said Mr. Calandra. “The Trail Care Crew will travel across Canada, improving existing trails, building new ones, and leading trail workshops about the importance of proper trail use, design and construction.”

“Trails help to protect Canada’s fragile natural treasures while allowing us to safely enjoy them at the same time.” said Minister Prentice. “We are proud to be part of the Trail Care Crew and look forward to seeing the good work they will do on trails across Canada.”

Parks Canada and the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) have partnered with the Canadian office of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) to develop the Trail Care Crew program. The Government’s contribution is part of a three way financial commitment from the other organisations involved in the project.

The crew works with IMBA Canada-affiliated mountain bike clubs, TCT provincial and territorial organizations, Parks Canada’s national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas and other trail user groups to build new trails, maintain and restore existing trails, solve trail management challenges, and to promote trails. The work carried out by the Trail Care Crew will benefit all types of trail users including hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, bird watchers, and all other outdoor opportunities that use trails.

“The Trail Care Crew program has been the flagship program of IMBA USA’s work since 1997. Over the 13 years of the program the crew has taught thousands of volunteers how to design and build sustainable trails, resulting in over a million hours of volunteer trail work,” said Lora Woolner, Executive Director of IMBA Canada. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Parks Canada and the Trans Canada Trail to launch our own Trail Care Crew program, one that will reach beyond IMBA affiliated clubs and benefit all trail users in Canada.”

The announcement of the creation of the Trail Care Crew was made during Ontario’s First Trail Conference by Professionals for Professional, which was organized by Trailhead Ontario.

According to IMBA Canada, Deanne and Chad Lazaruk, IMBA Canada’s first Trail Care Crew, hit the road in eastern Canada to kick start the 2010 building season. The professional trailbuilding team from Victoria, BC, will be traveling across the country in a 2010 Subaru Outback promoting trails and educating Canadians on how to build and maintain sustainable trails.

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