A few notes of Thanks (before we begin)!

Tomorrow our 28,000 km #Hike4Birds across Canada on the Trans Canada Trail commences, however, before we begin, a few notes of thanks....

Any decent scientist will admit, while there are often fascinating discoveries made on a regular basis, little is achieved on your own.  Our accomplishments today are built on the shoulders of the giants who came before us and the efforts of well staffed laboratories.  Our year of preparations and the successes of this trip are no different. We certainly could not have prepared, planned, coordinated, designed, trained and organized much of our trek without the help of a lot of people.

Wonderfully we have had assistance from so many people and organizations!  Thank you so very much!

Thank you to those people who continue to help us refine our message, who designed the digital classroom, kept us on track, raised our spirits, and those whose sponsorship and donations have proved to be the invaluable difference transforming this project from being just ‘a neat idea’ into being ‘a wondrous reality’.

A huge thank you to Mr. Steven Price, the president of Bird Studies Canada who was willing to listen to an out of the box proposal over 12 months ago and who encouraged his staff to follow their interests and in the process innovate how conservation agencies facilitate their outreach and education programs. Thank you for your faith in us!

Thank you to my parents and grandmother, James and Sylvia Richmond and Eva Pfeil.  They sat horrified throughout 2018 as their daughter proposed the impossible, set aside her career and convinced organization after organization to support her plans.  I’m sorry raising me hasn’t been easy, but it is because of your help and faith in me that I was able to do so much for so many years.  And the best is yet to come.  Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you to my graduate supervisors Dr. Erica Nol of Trent University and Dr. Jay Malcolm of the University of Toronto’s Forestry Department, who struggled for years making me a better scientist and who challenged me to inspire others.  Your advice and support have mattered so much to me throughout everything.   All of my best ideas came from your classes and all the mistakes are my own. Thank you. 

Thank you to some of our biggest sponsors and collaborators like Briden Solutions of Calgary Alberta for your support and encouragement!

Thank you to the James Baillie Fund and Bird Studies Canada for the professional support which has enabled us to continue moving forward to connect youth to nature through birding.

Thank you those at organizations such as Nature Newfoundland, Nature Nova Scotia, PEI’s Island Nature Trust, Nature New Brunswick, Bird Protection Quebec, and of course the staff of Bird Studies Canada for your diligence in organizing so many of our early talks and presentations!

Thank you to Hayden Watters of the CBC who helped us to get our plans and message out early.  In addition our thanks goes to reporters and editors such as Conrad Collaco of the CBC, Kristine de Abreu of ExploreWeb, Cassandra Bielas of SiriusXM, Matt Leblanc at Norfolk Radio, and of course Ashley Taylor of the Simcoe Reformer.  Each of you have helped us talk to a wider audience about our #Hike4Birds and the need to protect migratory species across Canada.  

Thank you to members of the Canadian Explorer’s club, who justifiably believe that the world needs more explores in it and that engaged youth are the key to discovery!  These intrepid people encouraged us, provided us with invaluable advice, and opened a world of opportunities to us through their experiences.  I hope we can do you and the organization justice by striving to inspire the next generation of scientists, innovators, and explorers.

Thank you to the backpacker and hiker online venue, The Trek, who are hosting our blog this year and whose resources we have relied upon throughout our planning.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to showcase the world’s largest pathway, Canada’s Great Trail to outdoor enthusiasts around the world!

A huge thank you to Patriq Chenier of The Great Trail!  Patriq has worked tirelessly over the past few months with us offering suggestions, advice, helping us get our message out and building Trail Nation!

The Great Trail sign and logo.

And finally, Thank you to the countless others including Mel Vogel, Dana Meise, Andrew Cuoturier, Lenora Sawyer, Eva Dickson, and of course Brittany Trusler.....for all of your inspiration, advice, hours of work and dedication to this undertaking.  I cannot possibly thank you all enough. 

The best is yet to come....

See you on the trail!

Remember to follow our entire adventure here : www.comewalkwithus.online