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Profiles, Interviews & Perspectives

Let’s Play: King County Coalition Comes Together to Get Youth Outside

Sep 20, 2022

King County Play Equity Coalition is a network of organizations dedicated to making changes that make it easier for young people in all communities to move their bodies outside — and to get all of the benefits that come with play.

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My Journey to an Outdoor Career

How WTA helped me gain the skills to transition from the classroom to the backcountry. By Iman Chatila

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A Book Made for Disabled Hikers

Syren Nagakyrie hopes their new hiking guide gives many who have felt excluded the information they need to get outside. By Jessi Loerch

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How Libraries are Building a Path to the Outdoors

Aug 29, 2022

The King County Library System (KCLS) aims to support the community in their outdoor endeavors by providing hiking- and outdoor-specific resources for many years.

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Making Strides in Trail Stewardship

Aug 23, 2022

As hiking rises in popularity, we’re constantly looking for innovative solutions to support a growing number of hikers on trail.

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Hiking with Kids: Trip Reporters' Tips, Tricks and Snacks

Aug 08, 2022

We reached out to three regular trip reporters who get out with their kids to hear about why they write trip reports, why they like hiking with kids and, of course, their favorite on-trail snacks and games.

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Community-Based Solutions: Darrington Local Coordinating Mountain Loop Highway Trailhead Ambassador Program

Jul 25, 2022

Talking community and battling doomscrolling with the coordinator of the Mountain Loop Highway's newest trailhead ambassador program.

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How One Forest Service Leader is Inspiring a New Generation

Jun 30, 2022

For over two decades, Aleta Eng has been working to connect people to public lands and inspiring the next generation of U.S. Forest Service leaders. As the partnership specialist for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Aleta has been thoughtful, innovative and creative in building a strong youth and community engagement program.

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Using Trails to See the Bigger Picture

Jun 08, 2022

Bri Ross, a member of WTA's Emerging Leaders Program, has long been interested in using recreation ecology to understand the natural world.

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Tips for Hiking With Kids, From a Trip Reporter and Mom of Six

Apr 26, 2022

Valene Ramseyer has been a hiker since she was a kid. Now, as the mom of six kids of her own, she likes to get out regularly with her family. We talked to her recently about hiking with her kids, and why she enjoys trip reporting.

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Family and Community: How Trails Help a WTA Volunteer Build Connections

Mar 22, 2022

WTA volunteer and member, Elizabeth Storm, shares how trail work on the Covel Creek trail connects her to childhood, family and community.

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More Than Just a Cup of Coffee

Getting more people outside, especially those who have been previously shut out from the outdoors, is the goal of Campfire Coffee. Quality coffee is the way to bring people in. | By Charlie Wakenshaw

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Meet Bronka Sundstrom: Mount Rainier Icon

Bronka Sundstrom has traveled countless miles on Washington trails, setting the record for the oldest woman to summit Mount Rainier. At 96, she’s still finding joy on the trails that have been her comfort. | By Jessi Loerch

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Q&A With a GirlTrek Leader: Harriet Tubman, Walking and Community

Mar 04, 2022

On March 10, GirlTrek encourages folks to walk in honor of Harriet Tubman's 200th birthday. We talked with Trina Baker, a leader for GirlTrek and a member of WTA's board, about why this event is so important — and why she's so passionate about the power of walking and community.

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Expert Voices: 3 Ways Time Outside is Good for Your Mental Health

Feb 15, 2022

We talked with three of our partners, all mental health professionals, about the benefits they see when youth and families spend time outside.

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Leaving a Legacy for Trails

Jan 19, 2022

Jake Robinson’s family is honoring his memory and his love for trails by supporting WTA’s work.

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Search and Rescue’s Tips for Wet-Season Hiking

Dec 14, 2021

Here are a few scenarios you might encounter while hiking in the wet months — and how to avoid having to make that 911 call for search and rescue.

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Ask WTA: How do Sleeping Bag Ratings Work?

Nov 11, 2021

Few things are as comforting and important as a good sleeping bag when camping. But how are sleeping bags tested and what do temperature ratings really mean? Luckily Feathered Friends, a top manufacturer of down sleeping bags, is based right here in Washington, and they had some answers for us.

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Preserving Space for the Future at Cashmere Canyons

Oct 20, 2021

Two WTA members have helped create a preserve that allows hikers to explore 12 miles of trail in the Wenatchee Valley.

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This Summer Was WILD

Oct 04, 2021

InterImCDA’s WILD program, Wild Society and Wild Grief all took teens backpacking this summer (with gear from WTA's gear library). We ask them to reflect on the value of time spent in the “wild” for the youth they work with and some unexpected logistical challenges they encountered.

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Trails Next Door Are Always There For Me

Aug 24, 2021

The way I hike has been altered drastically, but my enjoyment of nature is unchanged.

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Writing Trip Reports to Remember a Loved One

Jul 09, 2021

Each year, Diego Moreno's sister and mother go backpacking as part of a memorial trip for Diego, Lizzie's son and Alejandra's brother. They find the time spent in nature is a balm for them, and helps them connect with Diego.

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Volunteer Profile: Jade Tabony — Data Scientist, Outdoor Adventurer & Cheez-It Enthusiast

Jul 08, 2021

We talk technology, slacklining and what it's like to give back to a cause you care about.

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Making Friends on Trail, Thanks to WTA

Jul 06, 2021

WTA members Judy Cochran and Pascale Lelong met for the first time on a WTA volunteer vacation back in 2015 — and they've been hiking together ever since.

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Volunteer Profile: Doris Wang

Jun 22, 2021

Doris is a well of positive energy. She came to WTA after a friend introduced her to trail work parties, and since then has brought her friends and her husband to trail work, and been a fantastic trail ambassador on social media. We asked her a few questions about why she likes volunteering and what keeps her engaged in WTA's community.

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Q&A: The Value of Trip Reports for Hiking with Kids

Jun 18, 2021

Trip reporter Robert “Ups n Downs” Shirk loves to get out on trail with his kids, and trip reports are a big part of how he researches trails. Ups N Downs is also a prolific trip reporter, and we caught up with him recently to hear more about why trip reports are so important to him for his adventures.

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Trip Reporter Q&A: The Joy of Hiking One Area Over and Over

Jun 11, 2021

Trip reporter Birb has hiked nearly all of the trails in the Issaquah Alps — and found beauty and peace along the way.

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A Treasured Moment Together

May 14, 2021

Every year, WTA invites photographers to share their favorite photos for our annual contest. Hiker Giselle Pichardo shared a shot with her family at Ebey's Landing last summer.

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5 Things I Learned After a Year Using Car Shares to Hike

May 10, 2021

Today is my one-year anniversary of the first hike I did using a carshare program. Hiking using car-share programs is totally doable, and depending on how often you hike (and other demands you may have to consider), using car shares may even be more cost-effective than owning. Here's what I've learned in a year of hiking sans car.

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Learning and Growing on WTA's Volunteer Vacations

Apr 14, 2021

We caught up with volunteers from years past to see how the skills they gained have helped them with new adventures.

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