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Take a hike and donate: LSRCA launches TipTap pilot on local trails

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) is trying to find some innovative ways to fundraise a little extra money to help maintain the natural areas that you love visiting.

Now you can donate as you use their trails. The LSRCA has launched the TipTap Pilot Program at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area in Bradford, Rogers Reservoir in East Gwillimbury, Thornton Bales in King Township and along the Beaver River Wetland Trail in Brock Township — Durham Region.

TipTap is an NFC-enabled wireless receiver that allows for instant acceptance of any contactless payment or donation.

It works the same way as point of sale at any store, but with small denominations ($5 / $10 / $20).

Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation executive director Cheryl Taylor said the authority has been strategically looking at ways to help generate more revenue to support maintenance at conservation areas and parks. “There is a significant gap in funding to help take care of our greenspaces and we want to ensure that our parks and trails can be enjoyed by everyone for a very long time.”

The terminals are solar-powered

The pilot is to determine how well the technology performs in rural and remote locations, and how much visitors are willing to support the upkeep and improvements at their favourite conservation areas.

LSRCA land and resource planning technician Dan Andrews said the LSRCA saw a 60 per cent increase in trail use in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic. The heavy use has impacted the trail systems, which are in need of maintenance.

Courtesy of  reporter Simon Martin, East Gwillimbury Express. Full article with photos​

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