The 20th anniversary of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail mirrored a thru-paddle — in more ways than one. As 2020 began, we planned our events, activities and stewardship work, the same way a paddler carefully preps for a long trip in the wilderness. But even the best laid plans can be derailed — just as an unexpected thunderstorm can swamp a canoe, the COVID-19 pandemic forced our team to change plans on the fly.
We’ve spent much of the year looking for silver linings, and we’re lucky to have found them. We completed 15 stewardship projects across all four states, and even finished a kiosk update in Quebec with support of local volunteers there. We added significantly to our trip planning resources and paddler support was up this year, as people looked for safe ways to recreate. And with no public events, our board and staff had time to consider the NFCT’s role in promoting diversity, inclusion and access in the outdoors.
None of this would have been possible without your support.
In the same way our business and community partners help thru-paddlers when things go awry, your support ensured that we could carry out our mission during unprecedented times. We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us.
We don’t know what the future holds for 2021, but we promise to maintain and enhance safe, equitable access to the canoe trail. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that outdoor recreation is critical to quality of life. Our goal is to make sure everyone can experience and enjoy everything the NFCT has to offer. With your support of the Mission Fund, we know we can meet that promise. Thank you.