Second Annual Hiking “Challenge” to Feature Treasures of Protected Lands

LA CROSSE, WI – Friends, families, and organizations are invited to hike the Trail Trek Challenge – a team treasure-hunt and fundraising event that takes place on La Crosse area nature preserves on Sunday, June 10, kicking off at 8:00 a.m. at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, in Onalaska. In the event, sponsored by Organic Valley and other area businesses, competing teams raise funds to support Mississippi Valley Conservancy, the accredited land trust that permanently protects more than 4,000 acres of public land in the area, including the properties where the hiking event takes place.

In one morning, participating teams will hike three nature preserves (destinations to be revealed on event day) for a total of 3-4 miles. Along the way, they’ll be hunting to identify the unique natural treasures on each trail. Upon completing a unique three-hike passport, teams will head back to event headquarters for results, lunch, and entertainment. The teams that complete their hiking passports and raise the most sponsorship donations and are the winners. All participants will be rewarded with lunch, commemorative gifts, and sponsor samples and goodies.

Registration and event details for the Trail Trek Challenge are now available at www.MississippiValleyConservancy.org/TTC. Anyone can be a team captain, create their own team page on the registration site, and invite friends to join their team. The cost of registration is $15 for adults and $10 for youth (16 and under). Paper registration forms are also available at the Conservancy office. The deadline for paper registrations is May 24 and for online registrations is June 1.

“The Trail Trek Challenge is a fun and easy way to get outdoors with friends and support protection of the blufflands, prairies, wildlife, and family farms – all natural treasures that make this such a great place to live, work, and play,” said Sister Helen Elsbrnd, Conservancy board member and captain of last year’s winning team.

The event committee has gone all-out to add more trails to this year’s event, with unique hiking routes for each team, according to Carol Abrahamzon, executive director at the Conservancy. “Many of last year’s participants said they weren’t previously aware of the public lands and trails. This year, trail ambassadors at each trailhead will challenge teams to discover nature’s treasures from a list provided for each of their three assigned hikes,” she said.

“Businesses and organizations are encouraged to recruit teams to participate,” said Sarah Bratnober, Conservancy communications director, “Our presenting sponsor, Organic Valley, even awards growth incentive points to participating employees as part of their wellness program. We encourage teams to get creative with names, themes, and colors, too. We’re all birds of a feather in protecting the natural habitats and farmlands of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.”

Sponsors of the 2018 Trail Trek Challenge include Organic Valley, WKBT-TV, Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center, Mid-West Family Broadcasting-La Crosse, Trane-Ingersoll Rand, Altra Financial, People’s Food Co-op, Dynamic Recycling, Subway, Designing Jewelers, Trust Point, Verve, Dairyland Power Cooperative, MOKA, GoMacro, Advertising Concepts, and Kwik Trip.

About Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Founded in 1997, Mississippi Valley Conservancy is a nationally accredited regional land trust that has permanently protected more than 19,613 acres of scenic lands in southwestern Wisconsin by working with private landowners, businesses and local communities on voluntary conservation projects. The focus of the Conservancy is to conserve the forests, prairies, wetlands, streams and farms that support native wildlife and enrich communities, for the health and well-being of current and future generations. Learn more about programs, services, events, volunteer opportunities, and membership at www.MississippiValleyConservancy.org.

Contact:

Carol Abrahamzon, Executive Director

608-784-3606 Ext. 4

carol@mississippivalleyconservancy.org

Stoney Creek Onalaska

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