Welcoming back new and returning members to our Fall Season, I want to embrace our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and create a sense of Belonging for everyone, forever.
On Sunday, October 1 we hold our Bruce Trail Day. This is an initiative to embrace all the good things happening in our Club. We know the outdoors are good for our hearts, bodies and minds and we believe that everyone should have opportunities to benefit from time outdoors. This sense of belonging comes as second nature to members of the TBTC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Team who recognize and address the barriers in our society that keep everyone from feeling welcome and included on trails and public land.
The DEIB Team was created in 2021 and three of our Directors sit on the larger Bruce Trail Conservancy DEIB Committee: Karen Hanson, Louise Kent and David Royle.
Racial and social justice is essential to our mission. A history of underinvestment in particular communities, particularly for people of colour, and structural inequality creates high barriers for some individuals to participate in outdoor activities. The DEIB team are working towards a more just future. We recognize the need for our Club to continue to grow and to honour everyone’s history and identities, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age and ability.
Building an inclusive hiking community is not easy. It takes time, patience and trust in teamwork. The same can be said about protecting and preserving our trails and the work that our Land Management Committee promotes. The TBTC is equally committed to the long-term stewardship of both.
The Toronto Bruce Trail Club Board of Directors want to welcome everyone into the hiking community. We believe everyone should enjoy the benefits of the work our trail volunteers undertake. Also, a diverse, engaged and growing community is vital for the future of the trails we love. Our members will be the strongest champion for trails if it builds connections across identities and honours open dialogue about how we can all do better.
Embrace the good things.
President, Toronto Bruce Trail Club