Washington Trails Association news about volunteers and trail maintenance on The Signpost Blog.
Volunteer Spotlight: Gabrielle Matheison
Apr 06, 2021
Volunteers are key for WTA, and we appreciate however people engage with WTA. Some folks like to stick to trail work, some stick to trip reports, some do both. While volunteering has been complicated by the pandemic, Gabrielle Matheisen, a trip reporter and trail crew volunteer, made it work.
Hiker Headlines: Funding, National Park Projects, Pro-Crew, Sno-Park Fee Increase
Mar 25, 2021
It’s March 25. Money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund will go to important conservation projects in Washington. North Cascades National Park announced plans to reroute a section of Stehekin Road, and in Olympic National Park a new entrance station will improve traffic flow. WTA is hiring for our first paid, pro trail-work crew. State Parks announced that Sno-Park fees will increase starting next winter. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Youth Volunteer Vacations: What You Need to Know for 2021
Mar 16, 2021
At WTA, we know that the disruptions, stress and social isolation of the previous year makes outdoor opportunities for teens more important than ever. WTA is excited to resume our Youth Volunteer Vacation program in 2021, where youth ages 14-18 build trails and community together in beautiful places across Washington state.
Volunteer Crew Leaders Step Up to Help WTA and Each Other
Mar 09, 2021
In addition to WTA’s regular seasonal staff, 27 volunteers stepped up to lead trail work parties this past summer — making space for 2,200 more volunteers to engage in trail work.
From Awe to Ah-Hah!: 4 Advocates Realize the Power of Their Voices for Trails
Mar 11, 2021
When did you realize that trails don’t just appear in the woods? Or that your favorite trail probably exists in part thanks to hikers like you? If you haven't had that "ah-hah!" moment yet, it's understandable. The path towards establishing and protecting trails is winding (much like those trails we love so much). But in the same way that you can lay the foundation for memorable summer adventures by tuning into permit season each year in February, hikers like you can help build a lifetime of adventure by consistently participating in advocacy work.
Hiker Headlines: Clean Boots, Permits, Interior Secretary, Volunteer Safety
Feb 25, 2021
It’s February 25. Permit applications for many of Washington’s most popular recreation areas are either open now or will be soon. Confirmation hearings for Interior Secretary are ongoing. Learn what hikers can do to stop the spread of invasive species. And, it’s a good time to revisit safety guidelines if you’re thinking of volunteering on trail.
Shoring Up the Neighborhood Trails that Provide Everyday Escapes
Feb 24, 2021
WTA is hard at work making sure urban parks all over Washington are getting the love they deserve, including a recent project in Tacoma.
Hiker Headlines: New Sno-Park, Backcountry Trips, Take Action, Climate Plan
Jan 28, 2021
It’s January 28. A new Sno-Park was just announced. Sign up for WTA’s volunteer backcountry trips is almost here, with a few changes. New ways to take action for trails. And, the President lays out a plan for climate and conservation. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Get Ready for WTA's 2021 Backcountry Trips
Jan 26, 2021
Join WTA this summer. Backpack to a gorgeous place, do some trail work, and feel good about helping Washington's trail be some of the best.
Thank You, Land Managers!
Jan 08, 2021
Without our agency partners, we wouldn’t have trails to work on.
Bringing Nature Closer to Home in Southwest Washington
Dec 30, 2020
WTA has been helping to make Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge into an easily accessible bit of nature. Thanks to a new path that offers a safe walking route, hikers now have two different ways to walk to the refuge from downtown Ridgefield. And those two routes can even be combined to create a 5-mile loop.
Rebooting Popular Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Central Cascades
Dec 22, 2020
WTA crews worked all summer to restore and maintain trails across the state. Part of that work included improving trails in the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
Snow Lake Trail: Helping an Iconic Trail Step Up Sustainability
Dec 22, 2020
How WTA trail crews, volunteers and member support are helping one of Washington's most popular and iconic trails carry increased boot traffic while protecting the beauty that makes it so special.
Your Favorite Volunteer Memories of 2020
Dec 11, 2020
You and other volunteers have accomplished a lot in 2020. Here are some of your favorite memories.
Hiker Headlines: Volunteers Rock, Winter Trails, Merging Planets, Boost for Everest
Dec 10, 2020
It’s December 10. Thank you to all the volunteers who supported WTA through an especially challenging year. Summer trails don’t always translate into safe winter trails. Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer than they have since 1226. And, Mount Everest just got a little taller. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.
Trail Volunteers: Thank You from a Blue Hat
Dec 07, 2020
2020 was hard, but volunteers have shown up for trails in a big way.
Small But Mighty: Backcountry Crews Make Big Strides on Lost Trails
Dec 09, 2020
Our pint-size backcountry crews were able to get a lot of work done — donating over 6,000 hours of work to lost trails across the state! We want to share a few highlights from our 2020 season to give you a peek at everything these crews accomplished.
Mica Peak Traverse: Completing A New Trail Near Spokane
Nov 25, 2020
This fall, WTA volunteers and partners celebrated another win for trails in the Spokane-area, this time in the form of a trail connecting two of the region’s largest swaths of public land. The California Creek Trail, completed in mid-October, now officially connects Liberty Lake Regional Park and Mica Peak Conservation Area.
Grateful for the Wins: Some Good in a Tough Year
Nov 18, 2020
A moment of gratitude to our community for continuing to make so much possible. Together, helped hikers get outside, helped keep each other safe and even advanced some critical work for our mission.
Trail Planning Takes Time: Scouting Trails in the Teanaway Community Forest
Oct 13, 2020
WTA is helping bring the Teanaway Community Forest trail plan to life, scouting an existing web of unofficial trails for the ones that will be able to sustain hikers, bikers and riders for years to come.
How Powerful Partnerships Help WTA Build a Better Future for Trails
Aug 13, 2020
WTA has been bringing people together for years. By building connections, finding middle ground and creating shared goals, we are moving toward our vision of trails for everyone, forever. Here are a few recent examples of how, when we come together, we can do more for trails and the hiking community.
Masks On, Hands Off (My Tools): Trail Work in the Time of COVID-19
Aug 13, 2020
COVID messed everything up. But despite the whirlwind of changing safety requirements, WTA has adapted our work parties so our volunteer crews can continue to do the work public land managers rely on to keep trails clear and safe for hikers.
Problem-Solving in a Pandemic: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors in the Time of COVID
Aug 13, 2020
Navigating a pandemic has forced all of us to approach work in a new way. If you can do your job online, tech makes it relatively easy, but in-person work is a puzzle: how do you offer quality connections and complete trail projects when physical distance is the number one way to support public health right now?
Rebooting a Trail for the Future
Jul 24, 2020
Sharpe Park is just one example of how we’re improving trails in popular areas.
Excited to be Back to Work on Trails Rebooted
Jul 27, 2020
WTA staff and volunteers have begun a gradual return to the field under new guidelines for COVID-19. Work parties are small affairs these days, and we still have restrictions on experience required to participate (under normal circumstances we love to welcome new volunteers on our trips!). But we're continuing to work with our agency partners to assess additional projects and an expanded schedule.
Caring for Trails, Caring for People
Jun 29, 2020
It’s hard to imagine what WTA would look like without the McKibben family, and even harder to overstate Craig’s impact. From volunteering with our trail maintenance program, to serving as our board president, and even filling in as interim executive director.
Staying Busy During Stay at Home
May 20, 2020
How some volunteers are staying busy without trail work parties on the calendar.
WTA Youth Ambassadors: Adaptable and Driven
Apr 13, 2020
It's been an interesting year for our latest cohort of youth ambassadors — but we've been immensely proud of everything these tireless teens have already been able to accomplish for trails.
Celebrate National Park Week With a Look Back
Apr 22, 2020
This year, while many trails and public lands are undergoing temporary closures, the annual celebration will be taking a turn for more virtual programming. And at WTA, we wanted to play our part in finding ways to celebrate online.
Virtual BCRTs and Sawyer Songs — Our Trail Maintenance Community Stays Connected
Apr 15, 2020
Friendships forged doing volunteer trail work find a way to endure and thrive online.