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Amgen Foundation Grant Supports Youth Volunteers

Posted by Rebecca Lavigne at Sep 29, 2011 12:20 PM |
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The Amgen Foundation has awarded the WTA youth program a $15,000 grant. Two employees also helped out by delivering ice cream to a group of high school volunteers in August.

What was your favorite hike of the summer?

One of mine would have to be the Lower South Fork Skokomish Trail. Late last month, as the mercury climbed above 80 degrees, I set off with an important job: delivering ice cream to a crew of high school volunteers who were camped here for the week. I brought along some companions to help carry the load, including Seattle-based Amgen employees Carol Pawlak and Judy Fenyk-Melody.

Carol and Judy had taken a day off from the world of biotech to check up on WTA's youth trail stewardship program, which was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Amgen Foundation earlier this summer. "We are impressed with the work of WTA volunteers to keep the beauty of Washington's wilderness accessible to everyone," says Carol. "Amgen employees share a love of the environment and appreciate the mission of WTA. We're pleased to be able to support the important work that WTA volunteers are doing to protect and maintain our trails."

The Amgen grant is helping to support our popular Youth Volunteer Vacation program. It will also allow WTA to expand volunteer opportunities for youth and families this fall.

It was early afternoon by the time we reached the tired and dirty Skokomish crew. It was clear that these young volunteers had earned the ice cream. Thanks to their work and that of a WTA crew the prior week, a new stretch of trail was nearly complete. The new route, relocated to a more sustainable location, replaced a section that had eroded during a winter storm, literally falling into the river far below.

After saying our goodbyes, we hiked out under the big trees, savoring this wild corner of the Olympics.