TENNESSEE (March 1, 2023)—TennGreen Land Conservancy announced today that registration is open for the third annual Hike-a-Thon! This virtually-managed fundraising event is unlike any other in the Southeast, allowing participants to enjoy the outdoors from anywhere while raising funds and awareness to protect the lands they love. Registration is free, and there’s something for everyone with competitions for all levels of hikers, paddlers, trail runners, climbers, mountain bikers, and more. The adventure portion of the event starts April 1, though participants may start fundraising as soon as they’re registered.
Proceeds from this month-long event benefit TennGreen Land Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofit and the oldest accredited statewide land conservancy in Tennessee. In 2022, TennGreen Land Conservancy protected more than 5,000 acres of forests and open spaces throughout the state. Some of these successes included expanding Fall Creek Falls State Park by more than 2,000 acres; working with partners to acquire four acres adjacent to Lockeland Springs Park in East Nashville; acquiring land for the future Big River Park in Memphis; and purchasing key lands along the Cumberland Trail, Tennessee’s longest linear park.
“Saving land is as expensive as it is urgent, and the crucial dollars we raise through the Hike-a-Thon ensure we can do more to protect the places that enhance our quality of life,” said Alice Hudson Pell, TennGreen’s Executive Director. “With the funds we raise through this year’s event, we’ll continue to create and expand our beloved parks and natural areas, help more landowners protect their forests and farmland, and further encourage all to love and defend nature. I hope to see you all on the trails next month!”
Hike-a-Thon participants may compete individually or on teams for the chance to win exciting prizes in a number of competitions. Prizes include a AntiX 2.0 Whitewater Kayak, free shoes from KEEN Footwear, camping equipment donated by REI, a two-night weekend stay at Wildwood Resort & Marina, and much, much more.
Individual competitions include Most Money Raised, Most Miles Hiked, Most Miles Hiked (Senior), Most Miles Hiked by a Hiker Experiencing a Disability, Most Miles Trail Run, Most Miles Paddled, Most Miles Mountain Biked, Most Feet Climbed, Most Overall Adventures, and Most Unique Donors.
Team competitions include Best Team Name, Most Money Raised, Most Miles Hiked, Most Team Donors, and Most Unique Adventures.
Prizes will also be awarded in three photography competitions, including Best Photo, Best Group/Team Photo, and Best Selfie.
Participants may compete in as many competitions as they’d like, and pop-up prizes will be up for grabs throughout the month of April. Participants can also win prizes by completing ten of sixteen Hike-a-Thon “challenges” (e.g., visit a State Natural Area) as part of a Tennessee Treasure Hunt.
In 2022, Hike-a-Thon participants shattered fundraising records by raising $149,485 for TennGreen Land Conservancy, nearly doubling the amount raised in the event’s first year. Nearly 300 outdoor enthusiasts participated in last year’s event, completing 968 outdoor adventures and exploring 5,118 miles across Tennessee and beyond. The Hike-a-Thon also won the prestigious Frist Foundation Revenue Development award from The Center for Nonprofit Management, and was named #2 Best Outdoor Event in 2022 by Nfocus Magazine.
“Participating in the Hike-a-Thon was an absolute joy,” said 2022 Hike-a-Thoner Brenda Stein. “The hiking and fundraising reconnected me with people I hadn’t been in touch with in years! There are a hundred more miles on my boots, most added with friends I love. During these times of environmental havoc, a deepening political divide, and seen and unseen suffering, the Hike-a-Thon has been a healing balm in my heart. Together, we’ve made a lasting impact that will benefit us all and protect the natural world we need to survive and thrive.”
TennGreen Land Conservancy is grateful for the generosity of this year’s leading Hike-a-Thon sponsors: Bailey Equipment & Intralogistics, Bearded Iris Brewing, and Cumberland Kayak & Adventure Company.
Register for the Hike-a-Thon now at secure.qgiv.com/event/hikeathon2023. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Rich Swartwood, TennGreen Land Conservancy’s Director of Development, at [email protected] or (615) 329-4441 ext. 102. Donations to the Hike-a-Thon can be made through the Hike-a-Thon website or by mailing a check to 1213A 16th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212. Please be sure to note that your gift is designated for the Hike-a-Thon when donating by check.
About TennGreen Land Conservancy
Through sound science and partnerships, TennGreen Land Conservancy identifies and conserves land across Tennessee for wildlife corridors, critical habitat, and public benefit. TennGreen protects, cares for, and connects people with Tennessee’s natural world by providing meaningful outdoor experiences, establishing conservation easements, supporting restoration efforts, and acquiring (or assisting in the acquisition of) privately-held land. Learn more at tenngreen.org.