Supporting the Trail Conference Mission and Vision, Today and for Years to Come

October 31, 2017
Don Weise
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Supporting the Trail Conference Mission and Vision, Today and for Years to Come
The Gunzlers hiking.


The Gunzlers created the Trail Conference's Legacy Fund to ensure that the trails and natural areas we share are accessible for all to enjoy for generations to come.

In 2011, longtime Trail Conference members and supporters John and Marianne Gunzler inaugurated the Trail Conference’s Legacy Fund with a very generous gift of $100,000. Trails are a lifelong passion for John and Marianne; in fact, it was on a hike in Harriman State Park that they first met 58 years ago. On their frequent hikes together since, they see firsthand the positive impact Trail Conference volunteers make on trails.

The Gunzlers have been giving back to the trails they love through volunteer service and financial gifts to the Trail Conference for decades. John has been an active member of the board of directors, serving from 1999 to 2008, and has continued to be a leading member of various committees.

“If you think, as I do,” says John, “that the Trail Conference is a critical institution for making it possible to enjoy the outdoors in this region, you should be concerned for its long-term future. It’s a small, often hand-to-mouth operation that is vulnerable to changing circumstances. The Legacy Fund is building the financial resources that are lessening that vulnerability.”

John notes that even though the work of the Trail Conference is accomplished largely by volunteers, “those volunteers must have staff support and an organization to be effective and accepted by park partners.” And as he looks at trends in the public financing of parks, “there is going to be more and more work for the Trail Conference to do.”

Additional gifts throughout the years have allowed the Legacy Fund to better carry out the Trail Conference’s mission. The principal is invested, and a portion of the annual revenues are being used to support trail building, maintenance, and protection.

The Legacy Fund is a great place to make a planned gift to support the Trail Conference’s second century of service. For more information, contact Don Weise, Membership and Development Director, at [email protected] or 201.512.9348, ext. 813.