Spring Forward: Trail of Life Trek Starting Out on the Right Foot
Hike Benefitting Red Roof Retreat and Heartland Forest Gaining Momentum
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE (January 6, 2014) – For Owen Bjorgan, the vision is always the same: Making people aware of the environment and their role in keeping it beautiful. His Trail of Life hike, scheduled for late April 2014 will span the entire Bruce Trail, from Queenston to Tobermory; raising money and awareness for Red Roof Retreat and the Heartland Forest Nature Experience.
Working at Heartland Forest as a counsellor last summer, Bjorgan, a second year Biodiversity student at Guelph University, was impressed with their commitment to educating the public about environmental issues. “I really like what they’re doing in terms of building community awareness, access to conservation and respect for the environment. That’s something I have a passion for and I hope the hike will emphasize.”
Red Roof Retreat is the regional charity that his family founded, and provides children and young adults with special needs camp experiences within an indigenous rural setting. Located on properties that combine accessibility and natural surroundings, both Heartland Forest and Red Roof Retreat inspire those who visit to appreciate the quiet beauty of nature, its inhabitants and its preservation.
Red Roof Retreat Executive Director, Steffanie Bjorgan believes the trek is a win-win situation, “Owen gets to pursue a goal that he’s had on his radar for a long time while raising funds for, and awareness of, two great causes. We’re incredibly proud of him!”
Bjorgan’s hike is a great challenge that will help shine a light on Heartland Forest and issues regarding conservation of the natural environment. Elisabeth Graham, Executive Director of Heartland Forest, said, “Heartland Forest celebrates Owen’s commitment to the environment and his passion for hiking the Bruce Trail solo – a lifelong dream! Owen is a valued member of the Forest Discovery staff here at Heartland Forest. Our campers love him and it’s a joy to watch him inspire the kids to connect with nature.”
Financial and equipment donations are beginning to grow with contributions from local businesses and individual donors as far away as Australia. Bjorgan says, “I am so appreciative of the support Trail of Life has received so far, and it’s just getting started!”
Donations may be made online at: www.redroofretreat.com or by calling the Red Roof Retreat office: 905.684.0235.
You can follow Bjorgan as he prepares for the Trail of Life journey by visiting his Biophilic World YouTube Channel and corresponding Biophilic World Facebook page.
About Red Roof Retreat
Established in 2001, Red Roof Retreat is a Niagara Regional Charity providing quality respite care, recreational programs, and specialty camps for children and young adults with special needs, and their families. It is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, on a 4 hectare farm featuring fully accessible therapeutic gardens, walking | riding trails, a barrier-free playground and gentle farm animals.
About Heartland Forest Nature Experience
Located in rural Niagara Falls, the Heartland Forest Nature Experience includes 38 hectares of fully accessible trails, barrier-free mini-golf, butterfly gardens, seasonal wetlands and natural excursions. Opened in 2004, Heartland Forest remains committed to the promotion of conservancy with a natural educational experience that is open year-round and remains free to the public. www.heartlandforest.org.
Executive Director, Red Roof Retreat
Elisabeth Graham, @Heartlandforest
Executive Director, Heartland Forest
Founder, Biophilic World