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Volunteer News

Washington Trails Association news about volunteers and trail maintenance on The Signpost Blog.

Washington Trails Association news about volunteers and trail maintenance on The Signpost Blog.

You can also meet our hardworking crew leaders, and see standout volunteers at the Rock Wall of Fame.

Building More Than Trails in the Columbia River Gorge

May 16, 2019

How WTA and our partners are shaping the future of the Columbia River Gorge.

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Rapid Response: WTA Crews Clear Popular Trails at Cougar Mountain

Apr 15, 2019

Winter storms took a toll on trails in Issaquah. WTA crews took a toll on the trees that came down in the winds.

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Volunteer Crew Leaders Make Our Work Happen

Apr 22, 2019

If you've volunteered with WTA, you know the impact just one day on trail can make. But there might be more volunteers on your work party than you realize...

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Where Are They Now: Jessie Thoreson Has Spent Every Summer Outdoors

Mar 11, 2019

Youth program alum and volunteer Jessie Thoreson been working outside since the summer she spent interning with WTA. She told us how interning with WTA helped her choose her major, and what she's been up to since then.

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How WTA Volunteers are Making Time for Trails

Mar 07, 2019

Here at WTA, we know that time is a valuable resource — and one that is often in short supply. So we’re especially grateful that each year our volunteers collectively give thousands of hours to helping shape a lasting trail system for the future. We asked some of our devoted volunteers how they make the time to give back to trails — and why it’s worth it to them. Here’s what they had to say.

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Trail Magic: Not Just for Thru-Hikers

Apr 25, 2019

Whether it's food, sharing spare gear, or making an extra effort to recognize a special moment, our volunteers help make WTA's volunteer community friendly, and work parties fun to return to.

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Get to Know the Noble Puncheon

Mar 27, 2019

Have you ever wondered what those little bridges are that keep your toes dry and happy on trail? Well, meet the puncheon.

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Lopping in a Winter Wonderland: Creative Trail Maintenance in Spokane

Feb 22, 2019

When we think about trail maintenance, a winter wonderland isn’t usually the first setting that comes to mind. But this winter in Spokane, volunteer crew leader Jane Baker proved it can work, and you can have a lot of fun doing it.

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Backpack Hacks: Make This Year's Backcountry Trip Awesome

Feb 05, 2019

Learn tips for making your backcountry trip with WTA perfect.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dana Pounds

Jan 14, 2019

WTA trail work volunteer Dana Pounds is the definition of can-do. A 20-year battle with a rare form of cancer hasn't dimmed her positivity and optimism, and losing her leg hasn't kept her off trail. She joined WTA on her first work party earlier this month.

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A Trail Work Party With Powerful History

Jan 16, 2019

This winter, WTA volunteers helped rejuvenate Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island.

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Major Gains for Lost Trails Around the State

Dec 26, 2018

This year, more than 500 volunteers devoted nearly 15,000 hours of work to saving lost trails across the state. Follow along for a look back at everything we've been up to in our Lost Trails Found campaign.

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Columbia Gorge Trails Reopen After Fire

Nov 28, 2018

Gorge area hikers rejoice! After more than a year of burn closures, several trails affected by the Eagle Creek Fire are back in business.

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Grant Helps Improve Trail Experiences in Hood Canal Area

Oct 25, 2018

Before & after: take a look at how trails were transformed thanks to a grant and a lot of hard work from WTA volunteers.

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Lost Trails Found: Summer Progress Report

Sep 19, 2018

2018 was an incredible summer for our Lost Trails Found campaign! Take a peek at some of the work we accomplished throughout the season.

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Two New Loops at Lyle Cherry Orchard

Sep 10, 2018

Thanks to the work of the Friends of the Columbia Gorge and a grant from the National Park Service, WTA will embark on the creation of two new loops and reroute on a section of the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail in Southwest Washington.

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22 Years of Trail Work with WTA

Sep 06, 2018

From volunteer to WTA field manager, Alan Carter Mortimer has dedicated 22 years of work to Washington's trails.

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WTA and PSE: A Powerful Partnership

Aug 30, 2018

WTA and Puget Sound Energy are powerful partners in 2018 as both are committed to the health of our environment and of our communities.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kim, Norah and Adam

Sep 10, 2018

Get to know three of our newest hard hat recipients.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Clare Paden

Aug 01, 2018

How wrestling with one stubborn stump led one volunteer to taking a leadership role in trail work parties around the state.

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Teaming Up with Northwest Youth Corps Up in the Pasayten

Jul 23, 2018

Thanks to WTA supporters and new partnerships, a Lost Trails Youth Corps crew will spend five weeks fixing hard-to-reach sections of trail in the Pasayten Wilderness.

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Coordinated Chaos: The Logistics Behind Backcountry Trips

Jul 25, 2018

Outfitting more than 40 backcountry trips over a few months takes organization, patience, and innovation. Logistics Coordinator Rick Beckel relies on spreadsheets and volunteers to keep his cool in the heat of volunteer vacation madness.

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Where are They Now? Alex Compeau, Youth Ambassador

Jun 29, 2018

Learn how a past Youth Ambassador has used his experience with WTA to further his passion for trails, outdoor recreation, and the sciences.

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Volunteer for Teanaway Community Forest's Stewardship Day

Jun 11, 2018

On June 23, join Washington Trails Association and many of our partners for a fun day of service at the Teanaway Community Forest.

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Where Are They Now? Seasonal Crew Leader Jacob Mandell

Jul 16, 2018

Jacob Mandell worked at WTA for two years and his enthusiasm, gentle leadership and big smile were big motivators for the many volunteers he worked with. He's since taken his expertise to Colorado, where he's on a trail maintenance crew in the Routt National Forest.

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Our Graduates Are Out-standing In Their Field

May 24, 2018

It's the crew leader and assistant crew leaders (many of them volunteers) who have helped WTA's trail maintenance program become what it is today. Learn how we train the people who lead you on trail.

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Like a Boss -- One Youth Volunteer Learns to Lead on Trail

May 22, 2018

Learn how Haylee Darby went from volunteer to youth ambassador to assistant crew leader.

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Where Are They Now: Arlen Bogaards

Oct 31, 2018

Arlen Bogaards is our Northwest Regional Manager, but he started his career at WTA as a volunteer.

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Where Are They Now? Seasonal Crew Leader Margaret Ullman-Hess

May 24, 2018

Now working for Mountains to Sound Greenway, Margaret Ullman-Hess got her first taste of trail work as a seasonal crew leader with WTA. We asked her what hooked her, and how she took what she learned at WTA into her professional career.

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Where Are They Now? Seasonal Crew Leader Lauren Glass

May 29, 2018

Lauren Glass joined WTA two years ago with an impressive resume from working with youth. After two years crew leading with us, she headed to Colorado to manage the youth program at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. We caught up with her to see how it's going.

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