Washington Trails Association news about volunteers and trail maintenance on The Signpost Blog.
Volunteer Profile: Doris Wang
Jun 22, 2021
Doris is a well of positive energy. She came to WTA after a friend introduced her to trail work parties, and since then has brought her friends and her husband to trail work, and been a fantastic trail ambassador on social media. We asked her a few questions about why she likes volunteering and what keeps her engaged in WTA's community.
Meet WTA's Backcountry Pro Crew
Jun 03, 2021
This summer, WTA is excited to welcome our first professional backcountry crew! The six-person crew will spend the next few months improving trails within three stunning wilderness areas on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. They'll be working on hard-to-reach areas that don't see regular maintenance.
Passion Projects Bring WTA Volunteers Back to Favorite Trails
Jun 01, 2021
Our volunteers often find themselves replacing worn-out structures, rebuilding tread or even rerouting trails built by WTA crews who came before them. We’re grateful for the volunteers who were part of those original crews and continue to go back, over and over again, to maintain the projects they started.
Virtual Classroom: Crew Leader College Moves (Partially) Online
May 05, 2021
This weekend marks the beginning of WTA's 2021 Crew Leader College, a chance to help our crew leaders and assistant crew leaders refine their skills. Here's how we're adapting this year to share new learning about trail work, all while keeping everyone safe.
Centering Community Helped Build a Strong Urban Trail System in Bellingham
Apr 19, 2021
Fourteen years of work by WTA and our partners have transformed an urban trail system in Bellingham.
Learning and Growing on WTA's Volunteer Vacations
Apr 14, 2021
We caught up with volunteers from years past to see how the skills they gained have helped them with new adventures.
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.
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.
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.
Preview: WTA's 2022 Volunteer Backcountry Trip Schedule
Feb 04, 2022
It's only February, but Washingtonians know that the short, gray days mean it's primo planning season. Have you considered adding a WTA backcountry trip to your 2022 adventure schedule? You should. Here's why.
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.
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.
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.