Boston, MA – February 3, 2017 – The Trustees, Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organization, today capped off its yearlong 125th Anniversary Celebration with an event honoring eight individuals who hiked nearly 1,480 total miles at Trustees properties in a seven-month, statewide Hike 125 challenge. Winners were chosen from various mileage prize categories, ranging from 25+ miles hiked all the way up to the Grand Prize of 125+ miles hiked, Family Hiker, and Honorable Mention to win a selection of prize packages. The challenge encouraged 1,207 individual hikers from all over the state to complete more than 5,200 hikes totaling over 16,000 miles on Trustees properties between May 21st and December 31st of 2016. Two individuals, Dave Dunham from Bradford, MA and Jeff Eustace from Needham, MA were recognized with Honorable Mentions for the most mileage logged in the challenge—an amazing 503.96 miles on 29 Trustees properties and 389.6 miles on 14 Trustees properties, respectively. A total of 62 Trustees’ staffers also participated in the challenge, hiking a total of 1,308 miles, but were not eligible for prizes.
“The hiking challenge was created to inspire more Massachusetts residents and visitors to be active, get outside, and explore some of the best destinations in Massachusetts protected for everyone, forever, by The Trustees,” says President & CEO Barbara Erickson. “We were excited to recognize our special winners and celebrate all of our amazing hikers for their enthusiasm, participation, and incredible, collective achievements.”
Winners from Massachusetts towns including Natick, Tewksbury, Billerica, Burlington, Ipswich, Bradford, Needham and Sandwich were invited to attend The Trustees’ Hike125 Celebration event at Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, in Canton, MA on Friday, February 3rd from 10:30AM-12:00PM. The program included the announcement of winners and prize presentations by Trustees President & CEO Barbara Erickson and representatives from event co-sponsors REI and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, followed by remarks from the winners, refreshments and opportunities for event attendees to hear stories from some of the winners about their experiences. Prizes awarded totalled more than $6,500 in outdoor gear and include packages such as tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, binoculars and other outdoor recreational items from Trustees’ outdoor partner, REI Co-Op. Prized also included Trustees memberships and complimentary stays at Trustees campgrounds.
In keeping with its mission to preserve and protect properties of exceptional scenic, natural, and cultural significance and heritage for public use and enjoyment, The Trustees created the Hike125 challenge to engage even more MA residents and visitors of all ages and hiking abilities in its mission to better understand and celebrate conservation, preservation, history and the great outdoors. Hikers were asked to create their own Hiker Handle on thetrustees/hike125 and get out and explore their choice of The Trustees’ 116 properties around Massachusetts which include woodlands, waterfalls, mountains, farms, historic homesteads, gardens, beaches, Inns, and campgrounds featuring over 400 miles of trails, many of which are stroller friendly and easy for walking and include the organization’s 75 miles of protected coastline. Hikers they logged their adventures, shared photos and stories of their accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter, and were automatically entered to win prizes for different levels of achievement. They tracked their mileage on Trustees trails using fitness or hiking apps such as FitBit, MapMyHike, or All Trails.
Prize packages were provided by The Trustees and longtime outdoor partner, REI and include REI’s outdoor gear and merchandise, as well as a stays at Trustees properties and Trustees memberships. Hike 125 was also sponsored, in part, by Trustees health and wellness partner Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Due to the success of the program, The Trustees will be announcing another Hiking Challenge this spring.
The Trustees preserves and cares for some of Massachusetts’ most treasured natural, scenic, and historic sites for public use and enjoyment. Founded in 1891 and celebrating our 125th Anniversary from May 2016-2017, The Trustees is the first land preservation nonprofit of its kind in the world and the Commonwealth’s largest conservation and preservation organization. With a passion for protecting the irreplaceable for everyone, forever, The Trustees is focusing its renewed mission on connecting more people of all ages and interests to outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture, and healthy, active living using its 116 diverse properties, community spaces, and over 5,000 annual programs as a powerful and compelling platform. Located within minutes of every resident and visited by 1.6 million people in 2015, Trustees properties span more than 27,000 acres across the state – from working farms, landscaped and urban gardens, and community parks, to barrier beaches, forests, campgrounds, inns and historic sites, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. The Trustees is also a worldwide model and active leader in land conservation, serving as the largest private holder of conservation restrictions of any entity in the state, overseeing the protection of more than 20,000 acres, and working with community’s partners to protect additional land, totaling over 25,000 acres to date. Also leader in the local, sustainable food movement, The Trustees operates five working farms with CSA programs, holds over 2,000 acres of farmland, and is a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, the first all locally-sourced indoor market of its kind in the nation, where it runs all educational programming at the Market’s demonstration KITCHEN and is one of 40 on-site vendors. Funded by our nearly 125,000 members and supported by many generous donors, partners, and volunteers, The Trustees invites all to get out, get inspired, and find magic in the moment through a Trustees program or property: www.thetrustees.org.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 30,000 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 6 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 145 stores in 35 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 170 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.