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WTA's Krista Dooley Recognized at Washington State Trails Conference

Posted by Anna Roth at Nov 01, 2016 02:25 PM |

Krista Dooley, Washington Trails Association’s youth programs director, who recently received the Youth Advocacy Award from the Washington State Trails Coalition.

Last month, at the Washington Trails State Conference, WTA's Youth Programs Director, Krista Dooley, was recognized with the Youth Advocacy Award from the Washington State Trails Coalition. The award is in recognition of Krista’s efforts to connect Washington youth to trails—work that has been years in the making.

Krista Dooley youth advocacy award rachel wendling
Krista Dooley received the first ever Youth Advocacy Award given by the Washington State Trails Coalition. Photo by Rachel Wendling.

The biannual, three-day conference brings together land managers, nonprofits and advocates from around the state to talk about trails and the many ways they connect our communities. From urban city trails to mountain bike trails to backcountry hiking trails, the conference is an opportunity for the larger trail community to exchange information, learn from each other, and tackle some of the challenges of the future.

The trail awards, new to the conference this year, highlighted exceptional work and achievements for Washington's state trails. And there couldn't have been a more deserving recipient.

"I am honored to be recognized for my work and feel privileged to be able to do what I love for an organization with a strong commitment in getting young people outdoors," says Dooley, about her award.

Dooley's entire career has been a force for connecting youth with the outdoors. In 2007, Krista was hired by WTA to start a youth program and increase the organization’s focus on getting youth outdoors. She brought with her a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for outdoor education and has continued to be a positive force for getting kids outside.

Youth and Families work party Jacob mandell
Youth and Families work parties have flourished under the Youth Program led by Dooley. Photo by Jacob Mandell.

Under her watch, Krista has empowered countless families to get outdoors and brought youth volunteers to bear on 25 percent of the trail maintenance work that WTA accomplishes each year. She also established WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training and Youth Ambassador programs.The stories from youth, she says, inspire her every day.

"There is still a lot of work to do to make outdoor experiences more accessible for all young people in Washington, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be recognized for what has been accomplished thus far," Dooley says.

Learning, sharing and speaking at the statewide conference

Besides helping organize the conference, a number of WTA staff and board members attended to learn and to share the lessons from our own work.

WTA staff participated in the following panels with many of our partners:

  • Washington Trails Association – Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting Trails
  • The Latest in Trail Technology – Crowdsourced Data, Open Data and Apps
  • When Trails Go Viral, Responsible Web and Social Media Practices
  • Community Connections on the Tursi Trail
  • Coming Together to help improve the Pacific Northwest Trail in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness


Interested in learning more about the big ideas and themes from the conference? Explore the full program and some of the conference highlights.