Volunteer Awards

Since 1963 volunteers have been the driving force behind the Bruce Trail. Volunteers assume many different roles. Some are responsible for contacting landowners, for marking the route, or for ongoing trail maintenance. Others plan hikes in their communities, promote the trail at events, or simply help as needed in occasional activities. Today, more than 1,500 volunteers support the work of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, serving as caretakers of the Bruce Trail. NBTC is proud to offer three Awards to recognize NBTC is proud to offer three Awards to recognize volunteer contributions.

Nomination Criteria

NBTC Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded annually to a member(s) who has made a significant volunteer contribution to the organization at the club level over many years

NBTC Volunteer of the Year Award

Awarded annually to a member or committee whose volunteerism has gone above and beyond in the year just completed

NBTC Unsung Hero Award

Awarded annually to a member(s) who can always be counted on to lend a hand and volunteer at the club level over many years.  Current board members not eligible.

Eligibility Criteria

  • ✔ Demonstrates exceptional commitment, skills or leadership.
  • ✔ Is a member in good standing of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Niagara Club.
  • ✔ Has not received remuneration for their time and effort.
  • ✔ Fulfils the role of volunteer with enthusiasm.
  • ✔ Strives to go above and beyond their expected voluntary position or role.
  • ✔ Champions the mission and vision of the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
  • ✔ Has not received this award previously.

Nomination Process

Nominations can be made by any current NBTC member by submitting a nomination letter of 150-250 words outlining why the nominee should be considered for this award to niagarabrucetrailclub@gmail.com by February 28th, each year (Feb 29 each Leap Year). The letter should include information about the effort and contribution of the nominee. Include name, description of skills, commitment and contribution, and explain why this nominee is deserving.  The NBTC board will vote for the recipient.

Award Presentation

The award will be a plaque with NBTC logo, award name, recipient(s) name, and photo to be presented at the Club AGM.

2023 Award Winners


Congratulations Margaret!



2023 Lifetime Achievement Award

We’d like to nominate Margaret Northfield for Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Award. Margaret has been a very active volunteer for the Niagara Bruce Trail Club for many years. She has served on the club’s board as Hike Coordinator and Media Relations director for 14 plus years and is also a committed hike leader. All of Margaret’s actions demonstrate that she espouses the mission of the Bruce Trail Conservancy to “preserve a ribbon of wilderness, for everyone, forever”.

Margaret continually goes above and beyond expectations and is a self-starter. She is truly an inspirational leader to countless hikers.

In the role of Hike Coordinator, she joined Hike Ontario and became a trainer for hike leaders. She recruited, trained and certified volunteer hike leaders based the Hike Ontario training and certification Program, so now the vast majority of hike leaders in the Niagara Club are certified.

She established the Hiking 101 program, a 3-week introductory program for new hikers. This program has been so successful it’s being provided twice yearly now. Several years ago, despite having little to no experience in web design, she singlehandedly updated the club website and added an online hiking calendar. She has been interviewed a number of times by various media where she has promoted hiking, the BTC and our club.

Margaret has also made significant contributions to fundraising by procuring and selling swag that is new and appealing. She has developed marketing promotions for the club in the form of neck scarves, bumper stickers and t-shirts, which have been very popular.

When not hiking, you’ll often find Margaret participating in a trail maintenance and development work party, offering homemade treats to keep the workers energized.

Margaret recently joined the club’s biodiversity committee, helping to conserve our beautiful trail.

I [Robin] first met Margaret on one of her engaging Friday hikes where she shared some interesting history about Niagara on the Lake. It was her warm welcome and introduction to other hikers that made me feel instantly at home with the club. Soon after I was joining many events and becoming addicted to collecting badges like so many before me!
Margaret does a fantastic job organizing and communicating about club activities and events.

In addition to all of the above, Margaret has been a mentor to so many hike leaders, hikers and club directors over the years. She has been a major contributor to the success of our club.

We have been lucky to have her serve in this function for so long on the board. I believe she is the heartbeat of our close community that has grown so well over the last few years.

Combined Nominations Submitted by Robin Garrett, Debbie Demizio & Janet Davey

2023 NBTC Volunteer of the Year Award

I nominate Klari Kalkman for 2023 Volunteer of the Year! In 2023, Klari led our Club's Landowner Relations Program to a whole new level.

Klari has not been with the board for a long time but she has done so much in a short period of time to develop the Landowner Relations role. Klari developed the new Landowner Ambassador program for our club, recruited and trained an amazing team of volunteers and launched this important program which allows us to improve communications and working relationships with our wonderful landowners.

In addition to this Klari oversaw the creation and organization of a detailed landowner database for our club which is an integral tool for the Landowner Ambassador program to enhance our relations and communications with landowners. She reviewed all of the landowner listings and maps to confirm if they were up to date and identified where there were gaps in information.

Klari also spearheaded discussions with landowners along Dorchester Avenue. Accompanied by the club president, she went door to door to reach out to 10 landowners to see if the club could use a strip of land at the rear of their property to move the trail off the road. This ultimately led to agreement from all 10 landowners and allowed us to successfully move the trail off Ridge Road and back onto the escarpment!

A landowner survey was developed so the club can better understand the needs of the landowners, especially around communication. This will assist the club in knowing how the landowners would like to be recognized.

In addition to all of the above, Klari volunteered for the 2022 AGM planning committee. Klari's work this year has had an outstanding impact on both the trail and our Clubs positive relationships with our general landowners going forward!

Combined Nominations Submitted by Alicia Aitchison & Janet Davey

Congratulations Klari!


Congratulations Lauren!

Unsung Hero 2023


2023 NBTC Unsung Hero Award

Unsung hero: someone who demonstrates selflessness of their time, energy and creativity without looking for recognition; in other words, LAUREN DOIG. We are very happy to take this opportunity to sing Lauren’s praises and nominate her for the Unsung Hero Award. Lauren is always eager to help, full of energy and with a big smile on her face!

Lauren has volunteered in many, many ways since joining the Niagara Bruce Trail Club, eager to help whenever and wherever needed. One of the volunteer roles Lauren regularly fulfills since 2015 is Hike Leader. As well as scheduling her own hikes, she can always be counted on to fill a vacancy at a moment's notice. She knows the trail like the back of her hand AND is always prepared for any situation. Lauren also regularly volunteers to help people complete missed hikes when they are working toward a special goal (E2E, Benchland).

Lauren is also a dedicated Hiking 101 instructor, helping new hikers understand the fundamentals of hiking. With her wealth of hiking knowledge, excellent teaching skills, and enthusiasm, she is a great fit for the role. Since this course started in 2019, she has introduced dozens of hikers to the benefits of being an informed BT hiker. Lauren often talks proudly of “her” new hikers and the friendships they have forged.

The Fort-to-Fort Event Hike Coordinator is another role that Lauren admirably fills since 2017. As a result of her exceptional leadership and communication skills, she is well able to organize a committee of dozens of volunteers, responsible for running an important 2-day hiking fundraiser for the club. This year I understand she's gone out of her way to make the event even more fun.

Somehow, Lauren also finds time to be a member of the Badge Committee where she is involved with developing and designing new badges to keep hikers engaged and challenged.

Our Club has benefited greatly from her creativity and organizational skills. She has even been known to provide home delivery for badges; definitely above and beyond the role description.

Most recently, she has developed the Benchlands badge and has lead hikes for hikers to achieve this goal, adding more hikes as needed to meet demand for this new and popular badge.

On top of all this, Lauren happily and frequently takes on the role as a Trail Angel, Land Steward and Pull Party volunteer. The BTC could NOT have a more wonderful ambassador. Last year, a couple of women Lauren helped described her as their new "inspiration". Her dedication to the BTC truly is inspiring.

For all these reasons, and likely more we have forgotten, we believe Lauren to be a very deserving recipient of this award.

Combined Nominations Submitted by Karen Couch, Roberta Blackie, Debbie Demizio and Alicia Aitchison