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Paddling towards Sustainability

Why drive from the Adirondacks to northern Maine, when you can take a canoe!  That’s right, because of the hard work of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, you can now take a continuous paddling trail from Old Forge, through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, ME.  This 740 mile trail represents a world class model of recreation management for public access to waterways, trail stewardship, economic development, and rural youth outdoor education.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s Northern Forest Explorers Program connects rural youth aged 10-14 to the natural wonders of their own backyards by taking these young people on five-day canoe-camping trips along the trail. The program completes roughly 20 trips a year, with 9-12 youth participating in each trip. These trips immerse kids in natural settings, planting the seeds of desire for future outdoor recreation opportunities and increased environmental awareness.   NFCT makes this possible for as many children as possible by subsidizing the cost of these adventures.

Success:

-       In 2011, named “Best Canoe Trail” by Outside Magazine

-       In 2012, named “Best East Coast Adventure” by Outside Magazine

-       Between 2011 and 2012 the program grew by 66%

-       Through generous donations, NFCT supports 20 trips each year

-       Partnerships with 70 communities along the 740-mile trail, enabling both education for the kids and economic development for the communities.

Challenges: 

-       Subsidizing the cost of participation for over 150 participants in 2013

-       Forming partnerships with additional outdoor education/recreation organizations

 

NFCT is looking for support to keep the kid’s trip program in action.

To sponsor a child or a full excursion and to learn more about this critical program for rural youth in New England visit:  http://www.northernforestexplorers.org/.  To sponsor a child or a trip contact Kevin@northernforestcanoetrail.org

Sponsorship is easy:  At $600 you  can sponsor a single child from Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont on a trip of a lifetime on their backyard waterways.  Or sponsor a trip of 10 young people for $6,000.              

The success of this program is gauged by the increasing demand from local communities for this program to touch the lives of their young people.  As a result of this experience, the NFCT hopes to provide a growing awareness of the power of landscape and its ability to support healthy communities.  Providing a trip such as this will help to create the environmental stewards of the future.

Contact Kevin Mack, NFCT’s Director of Partnerships & Marketing, Kevin@northernforestcanoetrail.org, 802-535-5855 with any further questions.

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