“Why the NCT?” Quinn mused. “It is my nature to support activities that I enjoy.”
Quinn Wright has been the Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (FLTC) in Western New York since 2015 and has been a NCTA Board Member since 2017. But his relationship with these trail systems started off quite ordinary, like most trail users.
“For decades [I was] just a trail blazer or a wanderer,” wrote Quinn. “[I] discovered blazes on trees and found they delineated the Conservation Trail, which is administered by the Foothills Trails Club. As a result, I joined Foothills – edited their news quarterly and maintained a five-mile section of trail. [I] became aware of the relationship between Foothills and the Finger Lakes Trail system and as a result, I joined the FLTC: Director of Crews and Construction, then Treasurer, then Executive Director.”
Quinn’s involvement with the FLTC inevitably brought him to the North Country Trail and North Country Trail Association, as the FLT and NCT currently share over 400 miles of route. He serves on the NCTA Advocacy, Finance, and Governance Committees. He has participated in Hike the Hill in Washington DC three times as a representative for our National Trails System.
When asked why he chose to support the NCTA alongside FLTC, Quinn wrote, “Simply because it is too important for there to be a good relationship between the FLTC and the NCTA. So, I do what I can to help keep it strong.”
He continued, “I have from my late teens donated my available time and money to organizations that depend on people volunteering to support the organization. I don’t think I can do a better job than anyone else, but after almost six decades of volunteering, I know that anything anyone can contribute is important and appreciated. So it just happens that I give money and my thoughts and experience when I am asked.”
Quinn then explained his financial method of giving: “For decades I have donated about five percent of my annual income to various charities. It has been as many as 30 in one year. In recent times I have pared the list to about 12. I budget each on an annual basis, but for the four that I hold in the highest regard, I split my small donation into monthly increments in order to keep my budget balanced on a monthly basis. I would encourage anyone to do the same monthly giving strategy because it is easier to keep a balanced personal budget.”
He noted that what he values most about the North Country Trail is “the opportunity to hike almost anywhere with warm and welcoming people.” That’s his bottom line of why he supports both the NCT and the FLT: for the people who use the trails.
As Quinn wrote, giving can take many forms: “money and my thoughts and experience.” This is why the NCTA offers flexible opportunities to support the Trail and the Association. Make a one-time gift, plan a monthly gift, or join the Founders Circle with a gift of $500 or more. Join a local Chapter to contribute thoughts and experience to Chapter operations, group hikes, event planning or trail maintenance. Visit northcountrytrail.org/donate or Ways to Volunteer to learn more.