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Outdoor Leadership Training Success Stories

Read how WTA's work has touched the lives of people across the state.

Read how WTA's work has touched the lives of people across the state.

WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training Helps Communities Spend Nights Under the Stars

May 24, 2023

For nearly a decade, WTA’s Outdoor Leadership Training program has been working to increase access to outdoor experiences by reducing barriers to support educators and group leaders with training and gear for camping and backpacking trips. We wanted to look back and see how those experiences have made an impact.

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Taking Students Hiking and Backpacking — With a Little Help from WTA

Jan 18, 2023

Seattle charter school Rainier Prep recently added outdoor programs to its curriculum. Last year, six teachers from Rainier Prep attended WTA’s Outdoor Leadership Training workshop. Since taking the workshop, they've hit the ground running and have successfully led two trips in the last year.

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Building Onramps to Nature’s Benefits

Dec 06, 2022

Braided Seeds is helping communities of color rest and reconnect to nature. A wilderness first aid course, in partnership with WTA, has been one way to help people in their community feel safer outside.

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How Friends of the Children Seattle Made 'Trail Tuesdays' a Reality, with a Little Help from WTA

Nov 16, 2022

Friends of the Children Seattle spent the summer exploring local trails and introducing youth to the fun of hiking. (And the joy of eating frozen yogurt during a hike.) WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program helped them have a successful summer of exploration.

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Step by Step: How WTA's Community Partner Used Boots From Our Gear Library to Get Outside

Nov 07, 2022

Whether it's for hiking Mount Rainier, taking early steps to leading the way for environmental justice or celebrating being comfortable outdoors, we caught up with community partners to learn more about how they've utilized hiking boots from WTA's gear lending library.

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Shared-Language Hikes Helped Break Down Barriers to the Outdoors This Summer

Oct 31, 2022

Last month, ECOSS wrapped up its summer season of shared-language hiking trips to Little Si — aiming to expand outdoor access to underserved communities — using the Trailhead Direct program. We connected with some of the ECOSS staff and trip leaders to talk about their experiences hiking with their communities.

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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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Field-Tested Favorites: Mealtime Experiences and Recipes from WTA Outdoor Leadership Training Leaders

Jul 18, 2022

Two leaders from WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program, Christine Zarker Primomo and Harper McFadden, share their experiences cooking with youth in the outdoors, and their favorite backpacking recipes from their trips.

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Outdoor Leaders Who Inspire Us: the Service Board

Jul 26, 2022

We recently talked with a few groups we admire, including Shona Kerrick from the Service Board, to learn more about how they are building better futures for their communities.

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Outdoor Leaders Who Inspire Us: Trail Mixed Collective

Jul 19, 2022

We recently talked with a few groups we admire, including Quena Batres and Liselle Pires of Trail Mixed Collective, to learn more about how they are building better futures for their communities.

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Outdoor Leaders Who Inspire Us: Sea Potential

Jul 13, 2022

We recently talked with a few local outdoor groups we admire to learn more about how they are building better futures for their communities.

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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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How WTA's Second Gear Library is Helping One Group Get Outside

May 06, 2022

In August last year, WTA was excited to open the doors to a second gear library, located in Puyallup’s Meridian Habitat Park. We choose this location to help us better meet the needs of communities in the South Puget Sound region. And we’ve been thrilled to see groups already getting outside, with support from the new gear library.

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Rep. Strickland Visits WTA Gear Library and Talks Trail Funding

Apr 18, 2022

WTA met with Representative Marilyn Strickland to tour our Puyallup gear library and talk funding for trails.

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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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Beating the Winter Blahs Thanks to WTA’s Gear Libraries

Feb 14, 2022

WTA has been excited to see our partners borrowing snowshoes to get outside with youth. We wanted to know how the trips were going, so we asked three groups to share the highlights of their snowy adventures.

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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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Wild Society, a WTA Partner, Teams Up With Communities for Outdoor Adventures

Dec 20, 2021

Wild Society, a wilderness education nonprofit based out of Kitsap County, developed two amazing new partnerships that brought epic adventures and rewarding relationships.

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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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El Centro de la Raza on the Trail: An Outdoor Field Trip for Teens

Sep 02, 2021

This trip, which was supported by WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program, was a chance for teens to connect with each other and the outdoors.

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Hiker Headlines: Gear Libraries, Lyle Cherry Reopening, Wolverines, Community Science

Aug 26, 2021

WTA is excited to open our second gear library in Puget Sound. Lyle Cherry Orchard trails are once again open to hikers. Wildfire season isn't over yet — but we can help you plan around it. Wolverines are making a comeback in the Cascades. And, our local pikas could use your help. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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WTA Opens Second Gear Library in South Puget Sound

Aug 20, 2021

New location will make it easier for more groups to get the gear they need to get outside with kids and families.

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Students at Seattle Nativity School Build Connections to Nature and Each Other on Trail

Dec 17, 2020

Seattle Nativity School hosts annual hiking trips with students across every grade, along with a summer backpacking trip for alumni. Two former students, Layla an Christian, reflect on these outdoor experiences and what memories have really stuck with them.

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Hiker Headlines: Fall, Outdoor Learning, Road Closures

Sep 24, 2020

It's Sept. 24. We definitely recommend fall hiking. We're excited to be able to resume our Outdoor Leadership Training program. And some roads are closing soon in the Olympic National Forest. Here's some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

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Outdoor Leadership Training Workshops and Gear Library Restart with New Safety Protocols

Sep 22, 2020

Outdoor Leadership Training experiential workshops and gear library lending are starting back up with new safety protocols to support community groups and organizations with their outdoor learning plans.

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Four Gear Tips for Family and Group Camping

Aug 31, 2020

Are you headed out this long weekend to enjoy an outdoor adventure with your household or social pod? Here’s a few gear tips from WTA’s Outdoor Leadership Training program staff to make things a bit easier, and maybe even help to reduce the environmental and social impact of your group’s outing.

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Finding Connections — With Nature and Each Other — During a Pandemic

Aug 21, 2020

Although in-person trips aren't possible right now, Wild Grief is finding a way to fulfil their mission.

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Our Community & Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020

How we're working to keep our community safe. Updates on cancelled and rescheduled trail work parties and workshops. We are here for you: how we hope to be a source for moments of joy and inspiration.

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3 Tips for Planning a Group Hiking Trip

Outdoor Leadership Training participants share the lessons they've learned. By Andrew Pringle

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