25 April, 2023

Thousands of Volunteers in Communities Across Canada Are Getting Ready to Prepare Their Trails for Spring

Trail Care Grant volunteers standing by a Trans Canada Trail sign at the side of a trail

Trans Canada Trail Awards 192 Trail
Care Grants!

Trans Canada Trail’s Trail Care Grant program supports Trail operators and volunteers as they prepare their trails for another busy spring and summer

Trans Canada Trail sign on a trail

Great news! We’ve awarded 192 Trail Care Grants to Trail organizations and volunteer groups that operate, maintain and enhance the Trans Canada Trail, from coast to coast to coast. Each year, thousands of volunteers undertake projects across Canada to ensure that all users can safely access the benefits of outdoor recreation on the Trans Canada Trail.

Each season brings unique challenges to the more than 500 Trail groups and organizations that maintain and care for the Trans Canada Trail. The Trail Care Grant (TCG) program provides funding for projects to improve Trail sections and to support the transition from one season to another. Recipients applied for and received grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, which will be used for a wide range of activities including trail maintenance; small improvement projects on existing sections of the Trans Canada Trail; community cleanup events; and volunteer training.

This spring, Trail groups across Canada will run a total of 192 Trail Care projects and events in 174 communities, each uniquely designed to meet the community’s needs and goals for their section of the Trail, including: a 2-day tree planting rally in Cochrane, AB; a four directions earth care gathering with Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth at Crow Wing Trail, MB; trail safety training in Fredericton, NB; and a trail décor installation event with high school students in Digby, NS.

“Congratulations to all the 2023 Trail Care Grant recipients. Your dedication and enthusiasm for the important work of maintaining the Trans Canada Trail is reflected in the diverse projects planned across the country. Thanks to the thousands of volunteers and communities for preparing the Trans Canada Trail for another busy spring and summer,” says Eleanor McMahon, President & CEO of Trans Canada Trail. “Our local partnerships are critical to ensuring that the Trans Canada Trail is safe and ready to be enjoyed by all people, now and in the future.”  

Trail use increasing post-pandemic 

Trail volunteers standing in front of a Trans Canada Trail sign

A new national Léger Survey published last week confirms that trail usage continues to increase post pandemic. An impressive 72% of Canadians have used trails in the past 12 months and 80% of respondents note that they intend to use trails in the next year. Promoting local trails creates more community engagement; 89% of Canadians agree that trails add value to the quality of life in their community. Trails play an important role in combatting climate change; 87% of trail users across Canada do so to minimize their impact on nature and the environment. A solid 76% of respondents agree that trails make an important contribution in terms of building a tourism economy, and 56% of respondents said they were likely to include and use trails in their next vacation or travel plans. 

Largest investor in trail infrastructure projects in Canada 

Infrastructure projects on the Trans Canada Trail for the trial Grant program

Trans Canada Trail is the largest investor in trail infrastructure projects in Canada. Since April 2018, the Trans Canada Trail Trail Funding Program (TFP) has invested over $19.5M toward 508 Trail projects across every province and territory, with a value of supported Trail projects exceeding $124M. Funding for the TFP is provided by the Government of Canada through Parks Canada.

The TFP is open to all Trail organizations that operate one of the over 500 sections of the Trans Canada Trail. The TFP provides financial support to groups for trail infrastructure and major repairs, improvements to safety and accessibility, and destination development projects, as well as to First Nation communities to develop new trails. 

In addition to providing TFP infrastructure funding, Trans Canada Trail supports local Trail operators through an array of programs including funding initiatives like the Trail Care Grant, to ensure the Trail’s sustainability now – and for generations to come. Trans Canada Trail supports local conservation efforts including the enhancement of green spaces, the protection of biodiversity, and the restoration of the ecosystems that underpin our economy and enrich our quality of life.  

Trail Care is generously supported by Hydro One’s Energizing Life Community Fund, Columbia Sportswear and Athletic Brewing Co.  Columbia, hydro one and Athletic Brewing co logos