TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire - June 22, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges-Markham, today announced that the Government of Canada will be investing in the creation of the Trail Care Crew. This full-time, professional team of trail experts will travel Canada yearround working on and visiting trails in order to improve outdoor opportunities for all Canadians.

“I am proud to announce that the Government of Canada will be contributing $200,000 over three years to the Canadian office of the International Mountain Bicycling Association for the creation of the National Trail Care Crew,” said Mr. Calandra. “The Trail Care Crew will travel across Canada, improving existing trails, building new ones, and leading trail workshops about the importance of proper trail use, design and construction.”

“Trails help to protect Canada’s fragile natural treasures while allowing us to safely enjoy them at the same time.” said Minister Prentice. “We are proud to be part of the Trail Care Crew and look forward to seeing the good work they will do on trails across Canada.”

Parks Canada and the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) have partnered with the Canadian office of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) to develop the Trail Care Crew program. The Government’s contribution is part of a three way financial commitment from the other organisations involved in the project.

The crew works with IMBA Canada-affiliated mountain bike clubs, TCT provincial and territorial organizations, Parks Canada’s national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas and other trail user groups to build new trails, maintain and restore existing trails, solve trail management challenges, and to promote trails. The work carried out by the Trail Care Crew will benefit all types of trail users including hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, bird watchers, and all other outdoor opportunities that use trails.

“The Trail Care Crew program has been the flagship program of IMBA USA’s work since 1997. Over the 13 years of the program the crew has taught thousands of volunteers how to design and build sustainable trails, resulting in over a million hours of volunteer trail work,” said Lora Woolner, Executive Director of IMBA Canada. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Parks Canada and the Trans Canada Trail to launch our own Trail Care Crew program, one that will reach beyond IMBA affiliated clubs and benefit all trail users in Canada.”

The announcement of the creation of the Trail Care Crew was made during Ontario’s First Trail Conference by Professionals for Professional, which was organized by Trailhead Ontario. For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.