John Burton Honoured with “The Boot”

Kelly Killoran presents Keith Solomon Award to John Burton
Photo credit: Marg Yaraskavitch, 2019.

The Keith Solomon Award honours Keith Solomon, who was instrumental in establishing the Bruce Trail in the Beaver Valley. His passion for the endeavour persuaded others to share in his vision and join him in blazing this trail. For a man who was tireless in his efforts to build the trail, it is a fitting tribute to have one of his work boots bronzed and mounted, as the embodiment of the Keith Solomon Award.

Since its inception in 1995, the Keith Solomon Award has been granted annually in appreciation of an individual or group who, like its namesake, has made a significant contribution to the improvement or preservation of the Bruce Trail in the Beaver Valley. This year we honoured John Burton at the recent Annual General Meeting with “The Boot”.

Reading a story in the local newspaper about garbage left behind after bush parties near Duncan Crevice Caves lit a spark in John Burton that still burns brightly 26 years later.

Since 1993 John has organized student work parties from his Environmental Studies classes for projects along the Beaver Valley section of the Bruce Trail. They have cleaned trash, built sections of the Bruce Trail and Side Trails, built several bridges, planted trees and removed Garlic Mustard. It was not all work for his students. Students in three separate years completed end-to-ends of the Beaver Valley section. His students helped to carry the baton from Eugenia Falls to Hogg’s Falls for the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s 50th Anniversary Baton Relay.

John’s contributions to the Bruce Trail don’t stop there. He is the Trail Captain (TC) for the Hogg’s Falls section of the Main Trail. And goes above and beyond the job. He regularly removes garbage and debris from the campsites, parking lot and other public areas around the Falls.

As one of three Zone Leaders with Trail Development & Maintenance (TD&M) for the Beaver Valley Club, John supports the work of all TC’s in the South Zone. That support has involved doing small projects on his own; leading TD&M Flying Squads in the fine-tuning of Zone 3 trails for last September’s Falling Water Badge Hike and the new Stew Hilts Side Trail; plus taking leadership of special major projects such as a major reroute and relocation of boardwalks at Hogg’s Falls and the development of a master stewardship plan for the Hogg’s Falls area in conjunction with governmental and NGO partners.

Our thanks to you, John, for your committment and dedication to the Bruce Trail!