Announcing the Great Avalonia Trail Trek!

Do you want to help save land? Do you like getting a good workout in?  If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you should sign up for the Great Avalonia Trail Trek!  The Great Avalonia Trail Trek is a week-long fundraiser from Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25 that will give you the chance to raise money for Avalonia while enjoying our beautiful preserves.  The money raised at the Great Avalonia Trail Trek will support Avalonia’s land conservation and stewardship efforts, including helping us reach our fundraising goal for the TriTown Forest Preserve. 

Here how it will work in 2020:

Visit the Great Avalonia Trail Trek and click the “Register to be a fundraiser” button.  You will be able to choose to register to hike, trail run, or ride your bike. (If you need step-by-step instructions on how to register, check below.)  

Registration is $30 for adults and $10 for children.  If you need a scholarship registration or you are a frontline worker, please e-mail for a coupon code for a free registration. Your registration fee is tax-deductible and will go to support Avalonia.  Once you are registered, you will automatically receive a personal fundraising page that you can e-mail out to your friends, family, and colleagues for donations.  (Trust us, it’s easy – people love you and they will want to support you. Plus, we have some tried-and-true fundraising tips.  Find them below.)  

From Saturday, October 17 through Sunday, October 25, you will have the opportunity to get out on our trails by foot or explore southeast Connecticut by bike.  You can go out for one day or multiple days during the week.  We will have prizes for Vertical and Mileage Challenges, but adults must raise at least $250 to qualify for a prize; there is no fundraising requirement for kids.  We will also have a prize for Top Fundraiser.  

All prizes and swag will be mailed to you after the event.  Due to Covid-19, we are unable to offer an in-person event this year, but we will hopefully be able to do so in 2021!   To register, please visit here:

Great Avalonia Trail Trek  

We hope you have a great time at the Great Avalonia Trail Trek!  If you have any questions, please e-mail

The Great Avalonia Trail Trek will be Saturday, October 17 through Sunday, October 25.  This week-long fundraiser will bring outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers together to register, fundraise, and get a great workout in on Avalonia’s beautiful preserves throughout southeastern Connecticut.  Participants can choose to hike or run any of our trails or ride their bike to our preserves.  

If you have never signed up for an event like this, here is a Step-by-Step guide to registering!

  1. Visit the Great Avalonia Trail Trek website
  2. Click the “Register and Be a Fundraiser” button.
  3. You will see two selections directly under the “Register and Be a Fundraiser” button – “Great Avalonia Trai Trek” and “Great Avalonia Trail Trek – Bike Ride.”
    1. If you want to trail run or hike, select “Great Avalonia Trail Trek.”  
    2. If you want to road bike, select “Great Avalonia Trail Trek – Bike Ride.”
  4. You will be taken to the registration page for your chosen activity.  
  5. Scroll down until you see the registration options.  (We have gender categories, multiple age categories, and a family category.)
  6. If you have a RunReg or BikeReg Account, you may register with that account. If you don’t, it’s not a problem – just click on “Register as Guest” (You will have an opportunity to create a BikeReg/RunReg account later, if you want.)
  7. On the next page, fill out your contact information. 
  8. Scroll down to select your fundraising options – you can join a team, create a team, or fundraise as an individual.  
    1. If you are joining a team, click on the dropdown menu to select the team you want to join.
    2. If you are creating a team, type the name of your team in the box.
    3. If you are fundraising as an individual, just check the box for individual. 
  9. Scroll down to the event waiver.  You must scroll all the way through the actual waiver to indicate that you have read it.   Then click the box that says “Yes, I have read the event waiver and agree to the terms.”
  10. Put your initials in the box for “Initial Waiver.”
  11. At the bottom of this page, you can create a BikeReg/RunReg Account if you want.  It is NOT required. 
  12. Once you have registered for your activity, you will immediately see a popup box where you can edit your fundraising profile. Click <OK>. 
  13.   On your fundraising profile, you can add a profile picture and let people who visit your page know why you are participating in the Great Avalonia Trail Trek. 
  14. On the left hand side, you will see a menu where you can view donations, edit you page, share on social media, and more.  

That’s it – you should be registered for the Great Avalonia Trail Trek! If you have any questions, please contact

Ah, fundraising.  Without it, non-profit organizations like Avalonia couldn’t carry out our mission and yet, fundraising seems to make everyone nervous.  The good news is, it’s easier than you think!  At the Great Avalonia Trail Trek, we are asking everyone to fundraise to help support our work to conserve land, protect habitat and watersheds, and fight climate change.  To help you, I have written down my Top Seven Fundraising Tips – these are guaranteed to get results!

Fundraising Tip #1Set a goal. Setting a clear goal is really effective in encouraging people to donate.  People like to be a part of something successful, so when they see that you are working towards a goal they will donate because they want you to succeed.  I always recommend a goal of at least $250 – check out my “Pathway to $250” below and set a goal today. 

Fundraising Tip #2 – Donate to yourself! When you register, you will have the opportunity to donate to yourself and I HIGHLY recommend that you do so.   Even if it is a small donation, it will send a message that you are serious about this cause.  Also, people love company – remember the song “One is the Loneliest Number?”  That’s because people don’t like to be alone, so give them some company by making a donation yourself. 

Fundraising Tip #3 – Personalize your page.  First, add a picture – your friends will love to see your smiling face! Then, add a few lines about why you are participating in the Great Avalonia Trail Trek.  People like to know that their donations will support a great cause. 

Fundraising Tip #4 – Ask your friends and family to donate.  This seems obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people don’t actually ask for donations. They just post their fundraising page with ZERO explanation on Facebook and hope for the best.  You will get MUCH better results if you ask!   I generally recommend sending three e-mails – one when you sign up, one about a week or so before the event, and one the day before.  This is because you can basically divide people into three different categories.

The Instant Donors – These people spend their days organizing their underwear drawers and cutting their kids’ vegetable snacks into recognizable animals, so we don’t really understand what make them tick, but we are impressed.  However, they will IMMEDIATELY reach for their credit card when they get your e-mail, and for this, we consider them the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). 

The Gentle Reminders – These folks read your e-mail, thought about how great you are, promised themselves that they would donate, and then promptly forgot.  But they really did mean to support you, so if you send a gentle reminder along with the link to your personal page, they will happily donate.

The OMGer’s.  You know who you are.   These friends wait until the last minute to do everything.  They file their taxes at 11:50 pm on April 15 and aren’t afraid to roll into the gas station on nothing but fumes.  For them, a deadline is really just a strong suggestion, so these friends will wait until the absolute last minute to donate.  However, these are good people with big hearts, so if you send an e-mail to them the day before the Great Avalonia Trail Trek, they will smack their forehead and say, “OMG!  That trek thing is tomorrow!  I need to donate!”  

Fundraising Tip #5 – Ask for $10.  If you are nervous about asking for donations, ask for a specific, small amount.  Ten dollars is a great place to start, because pretty much every adult can donate $10.  They think, “Sure, I can donate ten bucks.”  Once they are on your personal page and they see your smiling face (because you followed tip #3 and added a photo), they think, “Weeeelllll, so-and-so is really great – I can give more than $10.” Before you know it, you have raised hundreds of dollars!

Fundraising Tip #6 – Use social media.  Definitely take advantage of social media. While I do post some “Please support me” type of asks on social media, I mostly use social media to thank my donors.  For one thing, everyone likes to be thanked and being thanked publicly is awesome.  Second, it’s a good way to remind people that you are doing a fundraiser without constantly asking them for money.  I’ll write something like “Wow, thanks to generous donations from Tara, Mindy, and Adam, I have now raised $750 – I’m 75% of the way to my $1,000 goal!  Thank you  – you are amazing!”  I tag my friends and I include the link to my personal fundraising page in the post.  This way, the link to my page shows up in my newsfeed, their newsfeeds, and the newsfeeds of all our friends.  It’s a really effective way to nudge people to donate without being annoying, which is good – we want them to support you, not unfollow you forever. 

Fundraising Tip #7 – Remind your donors to get matching donations – it is a terrific way to boost your fundraising total.  Many Connecticut companies, like Pfizer and Travelers, will match their employee’s donation. When people donate to the Great Avalonia Trail Trek, they have the opportunity to look up their company and apply for the match, however, make sure you follow up with them, too. 

Pathway to $250

Donate $20 to yourself $20

Ask three family members for $20 $60

Ask seven friends for $10 $70

Ask five co-workers for $10 $50

Ask four neighbors for $5 $20

Ask your spouse for $25 $30


Thank you to our sponsors:

Karen and Bob Askins