The Toronto Club board is always looking to attract more youth and promote diversity. That’s why when it was approached by 20 year-old Zwena Gray, members stepped in to help. Zwena is a second year Trent university student who wants to complete the 900 km trail with a friend. With her major in environmental science, the Detroit native and Toronto resident hopes to showcase “Black joy in the outdoors,” through hiking and being outdoors.
A TBTC member, Zwena starts her journey on April 25 in Niagara and hopes to be in Tobermory by June 6. A team of six board members met with her via Zoom and have agreed to coordinate rides and look for places where she can stay along the Toronto section. Louise Kent, Membership Director has connected her with other Clubs to see if they can offer similar support. Meanwhile, David Rowney, Communications Director is taking the lead on coordinating rides and lodging for the Toronto section of the trail. “We are not supporting Zwena directly from a Club perspective, but we want to provide opportunities for individual members to help her complete her journey. While lodging and rides are her biggest expense, people may also be able to provide gear or a meal or donate towards trip costs,” says Louise. (See links below.)
“Zwena is an impressive young woman. She is well-organized, very mature and wants to give back. We look forward to her blog, including updates in our newsletter and social media,” says Toronto Club VP David Royle. Longer term, we think she can be a valuable partner to the Club in talking about diversity and introducing more people to the Bruce Trail. Zwena for her part says she is passionate about environmental kinship and adventure. “After completing the trail, I plan to host events for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) communities. These events will encourage and educate participants about outdoor recreation.”
If you want to help Zwena in her journey, she has set up a donation site here.
If you can help with rides or lodging in the Toronto section, or elsewhere on the trail, please contact email@example.com