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Boeing and WTA, Coming Together for Trails

Posted by Kate Neville at Jul 11, 2016 04:15 PM |
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At WTA, we are so grateful for Boeing's investment in our organization, and for the many individual volunteers and members who make our work possible. Together we are making a big collective impact for trails!

There's no doubt about it, Washingtonians love to hike, and more people are discovering the joy of trails every day! And it will take all of us, working together, to protect and preserve our trails into the future.

Fortunately Washington Trails Association and our public agency partners can count on the support of another organization with deep roots in our region—the Boeing Company.

Not only has Boeing provided important financial support through grants to our trail program, sponsorship of our 50th Anniversary, matching contributions and workplace giving campaigns, but many Boeing employees personally invest significant sweat and hard work as trail volunteers.

A day on the trail with Boeing employees

For example, recently a group of hardy volunteers from the Boeing Employees Alpine Society (BOEALPS) spent a day with WTA, helping forge the new Martin Creek Connector trail. Designed to increase the connectivity of the trail system in the Iron Goat of Steven's Pass, this trail will connect the Kelly Creek Trail with the Iron Goat trail and provide access to the Wild Sky Wilderness.

BoALPS work party
Improvements being made on this trail will provide access to scenic meadows below Captain Point. Photo by Kate Neville.

With a three-mile hike to the work site, this work party was more challenging than many. No problem for this group! After spending the spring hauling heavy climbing gear into the back country, several remarked that the hike in felt like a “nice break.”

The trail work itself was a challenge as well. Our group's job was to cut new trail—no easy job when the hard soil our crew leaders look for was buried under many feet of soft duff. But the BOEALPS crew took it all in stride, using their new skills with Pulaski's, McLeod's, shovels and grub hoes to carve a new trail for future hikers.

BoALPS work party digging in the duff
The trail travels through some fine old growth forest, and hikers will encounter interesting remnants of the old railway along the way. Photo by Kate Neville.

Pulaski on BOALPS workparty
Project work includes cutting new trail and removing vegetation. Photo by Kate Neville

The final challenge came at the end of the day. After a full day of hard work, our group was tasked with carrying all of the tools—about two per person—the three miles back to the trailhead.

Again, our BOEALPS group took it all in stride, cheerfully scooting down the trail, tools in tow.

The BOALPS crew
Thank you, BOEALPS crew, for a great day on trail! Photo by Kate Neville

The work party is just one example of the many dedicated Boeing employees who give so much of their time, skills and energy to Washington's trails. At WTA, we are so grateful for Boeing's investment in our organization, and for the many individual volunteers and members who make our work possible. Together we are making a big collective impact for trails!

Want to help on the Martin Creek Connector, or another trail? Sign up for a work party! You can bring your group or come as an individual—there are lots of ways to volunteer. No experience is necessary and about a quarter of WTA's volunteers are youth. Come join us!

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