Trails for everyone, forever

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WTA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Washington Trails Association believes it is vitally important for everyone to have the opportunity to access the outdoors.

Washington Trails Association is committed to trails for everyone, forever. We know the outdoors are good for our hearts, bodies and minds and we believe that everyone should have opportunities to benefit from time outdoors.

Local hiking group enjoying the Chain Lakes Trail photo by Kara Hollenbeck
At WTA, we believe that everyone should have access to Washington's outdoors. Photo by Kara Hollenbeck

We also know, however, that we can’t have trails for everyone, forever unless everyone has safe and easy access to trails. To reach that goal, we must recognize and address the barriers in our society that keep everyone from feeling welcome and included on trails and public lands. 

Racial and social justice is essential to our mission. A history of underinvestment in particular communities, particularly for people of color, and structural inequality creates high barriers for some individuals to participate in outdoor activities. As we work toward a more just future, we recognize the need for the hiking community to grow and to honor everyone’s  history and identities (including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age and ability). 

Building an inclusive hiking community isn't easy and it takes time, but the same can be said about protecting and preserving trails. WTA is equally committed to the long-term stewardship of both. We want to welcome everyone into the hiking community because everyone should enjoy the benefits of time on trail and because a diverse, engaged and growing community is vital for the future of the trails we love. Our community will be the strongest champion for trails if it builds connections across identities and honors open dialogue about how we can all do better.