Benefit Raises Money for Nature Trails

Outdoor enthusiasts got a chance to shake a leg for a cause close to their hearts when the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association (GBCTA) held their fourth annual Tunes for Trails benefit on May 24 at the Bragg Creek Community Centre. The event, which usually sees crowds of around 400 revelers, featured cocktails, late night snacks, a silent auction and live music from Bragg Creek, AB band Scuzzy and the Woodticks.

TunesBragg Creek is west of Calgary in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. GBCTA is a non-profit manned by local volunteers who are “working hard to design, build and maintain trails and pathways for the benefit of residents and visitors of Bragg Creek.” The association was created in 2004 when “it was recognized that locals were needed to manage and develop area trails.”

GBCTA believes their work “improves the quality of life” by “creating a safer form of infrastructure that allows us to access our beautiful outdoors while reducing our dependence on cars and minimizing our impact on the environment.”

Their trail network is over 100 km long. Multi-use trails can be used for hiking, biking, skiing and horseback riding, but separate trails are available for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and downhill mountain biking. The August/September 2013 edition of Canadian Cycling Magazine named the trails as their number two biking gem, saying “The trails, like the riders, are intense in a likable way.”

Greg Potter, member of the event organizing committee, says the backing their event receives is always a highlight. “A local band, many members of which are regular trail users, donated their entertainment services, and local businesses donated goods and services for a silent auction. It ends up being a get-together for the outdoor community where you catch up with old friends and meet new area outdoor enthusiasts.”

Tunes2GBCTA advertised through the Bragg Creek Community Association website, on a number of outdoor enthusiast websites and in local newspapers, while also posting notices around the area. Potter adds that having a volunteer base committed to your cause can make planning any event much easier.

“The only advice I would offer is to make sure that early on you get people committed to helping,” he notes. “We have a fairly large group of area volunteers who pitch in to make this event happen. Just think through all the tasks that need to be done and get volunteers on board to take care of them.”

How have you build a strong volunteer base for your organization?