Volunteer Spotlight: Carmen Zavala
Meet Carmen Zavala -- a recently-settled Seattle resident who wanted to learn more about where trail comes from and who takes care of them.
by Britt Lê
Last year, 4,700 people volunteered on trails all over the state of Washington. While there's impressive strength in numbers (like donating $3.9 million of labor on 240 trails in 2016) WTA also likes to highlight some of the individuals who make that possible. Carmen Zavala is a recently-settled Seattle resident who wanted to learn more about where trail comes from and who takes care of them.
Carmen and her wife Claudia moved to Seattle from Mexico last September. While browsing the Washington Hikers and Climbers group on Facebook, Carmen read about an opportunity to volunteer with WTA. She signed up for her first work party at Oyster Dome, and just two weeks later she'd already completed enough work parties to earn her very own hard hat.
When we asked Carmen what compelled her to join that first (and the following) trail work parties, she responsed:
"When I went on hikes I used to wonder who built the trails. Volunteering with WTA gave me the answer: people like me. Being able to give back to something that I enjoy so much, like hiking, is incredibly rewarding. Knowing that I took part in building a trail or making one safer is my way of helping people get out and enjoy the outdoors."