The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) recently launched a new fundraiser called Boardwalk of Champions. The event ties in well with the NBMCA’s 50th anniversary, as throughout the year the organization’s goal is to celebrate the many environmental champions who contribute to conservation efforts throughout the region.
This fundraiser carries on that idea and allows people the chance to honour a champion from their own circle. For a $100 donation, the NBMCA will etch the name of someone who has inspired you, or someone who you want to be remembered, and will place these small memorials on a board walk or bridge within the Authority’s watershed area.
There are three places to choose from—the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area boardwalk in Calvin Township, the Kinsmen Trail Bridge on Main Street, North Bay, or the Chippewa Creek Bridge on Oak Street in North Bay.
The Boardwalk of Champions is “meant to honour and recognise those people within our lives, who perhaps have overcome a big challenge, or who have inspired you,” explained Chitra Gowda, the NBMCA’s CEO. “And those are the people we would like to recognize through the Boardwalk of Champions.”
Names will be engraved on a piece of stainless steel approximately 3 inches long by 1.5 inches wide. An image of a pinecone adorns most of the surface, and about halfway up the image, a horizontal rectangle is set, which is where your name of choice is etched.
Once complete, the little plaque is attached to the hand railings of boardwalks in one of the NBMCA’s conservation areas. There is room for up to 25 characters on each pinecone, and you can order more than one if you chose to do so.
All of the money raised stays local and goes toward supporting scholarships and bursaries for university, college, and high school students involved in environmental or conservation studies. “Anyone across our watershed” is invited to donate, Gowda explained, which spans from North Bay to Mattawa and all the way to Parry Sound.
This watershed area “overflows with champions,” the NBMCA emphasized, noting these people “have contributed to the health and well-being of our families, our neighbourhoods, our communities, and our environment,” and now these “true champions” can be immortalized along a scenic forest path.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.