Bower Property 2 (Photo by Brent Calver)

Bower Property 2 (Photo by Brent Calver)

Braden Kudel: Running for conservation

Braden Kudel (Photo courtesy of Braden Kudel)

Braden Kudel (Photo courtesy of Braden Kudel)

This June, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) supporter Braden Kudel will be running 35 laps of Tunnel Mountain in Banff, Alberta, to raise funds for conservation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there has been one place I go to that grounds me every time; that makes me forget the trivial problems of daily life," said Braden. That place, he says, is the outdoors.

To many of us, nature is a means to escape the difficulties and challenges life throws our way. To Braden, the outdoors is an escape from the obstacles he faces in his day-to-day life. It is a place where he is able to ignite his passion and regain his motivation after feeling burned out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the past five years, Braden has been challenging himself to raise awareness for Alberta's natural spaces. This year, on his 35th birthday, he will be running 35 laps of Tunnel Mountain to gather donations for NCC.

Bray’s Big Long Run for NCC will take place at Tunnel Mountain in Banff, starting on June 27 at 5 a.m. MDT and ending whenever he finishes his laps on June 28. Braden’s goal is to raise one dollar for every metre of elevation gain he runs, to a total of $9,100. Along with regular donations, people can sponsor laps at $260 each.

The funds raised during this event will be used to support NCC’s many land conservations projects.

Spectators are welcome to attend the event and are asked to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Updates and coverage of the event will be broadcast live on Braden’s Instagram page @bk_haveityourway_cgy.

Braden explains that his experiences travelling through Alberta's stunning landscapes reminds him how complex, large and fragile our natural areas are. These areas need to be protected in order to maintain species diversity. He says that humans are only a small part of a larger system, and this knowledge grounds him and inspires him to raise awareness for organization like NCC.

Braden emphasizes the importance of nature by listing the many essential resources it provides us, such as oxygen, medicine and food. By protecting our natural areas and promoting a diversity of plants and animals, he says, we can help the planet recover from natural disasters by creating resilience.

It is because of donors like Braden Kudel that organizations such as the NCC have the ability to protect Alberta’s' fragile ecosystems. Our donors are the heart of our organization, and without them, we would not be where we are today.

If you would like to show your support for Braden, please visit:



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