Pete Dewell "Awarded Volunteer of the Year"
When Pete Dewell began coming out on work parties with WTA over ten years ago, he wasn't expecting it to become a full-time avocation. A decade and 893 work parties later, Pete is one of our most dedicated volunteers, and was just recognized for his amazing contributions by the National Public Lands Day program, which named him "Volunteer of the Year." Congratulations, Pete!
When Pete Dewell began coming out on work parties with WTA over ten years ago, he wasn't expecting it to become a full-time avocation. After all, he hadn't fully retired from his work as an attorney just yet.
A decade later, Pete is now a very young 80 years old. Think that has slowed him down a little? Think again!
Pete has spent a whopping 893 days volunteering on the trail of Washington. In 2010 alone, Pete volunteered on over 150 work parties. He's one of our most dedicated volunteers, and we're so happy to announce that Pete was just recognized for his amazing contributions by the National Public Lands Day program, which named him "Volunteer of the Year." The award recognizes individual volunteers who exhibit noteworthy dedication and passion for their public lands. Congratulations, Pete!
Pete inspires each and every one of us at WTA. So, we wanted to know what inspired him to spend many of his days in retirement building some of the best rock walls and most beautiful drainage dips this side of the Mississippi.
“I really like construction work, and this was such a challenge,” explained Pete Dewell. “Like practicing law, you analyze the problem and come up with a solution. As I began to decrease my law practice, the lure of trail work with WTA became my new profession.
Pete was all smiles upon hearing that he received the Volunteer of the Year award. “Well, I must say this is a humbling matter,” he said. “There are so many other folks who deserve it more, but it makes me want to do even more.”
Of all the thousands of volunteers who take time out to help WTA care for trails on public lands, Pete Dewell sets himself apart. In addition to the staggeringly high number of days volunteering on trail, Pete serves as an Assistant Crew Leader, helps organize work parties and ensures that all work parties have enough skilled leaders. Since he started volunteering in the late 1990's, Pete has donated his time in a range of ways. For six years he served on the board of WTA, and he has provided pro-bono legal counsel to the organization. Pete even wrote a how-to guide for trail volunteers, titled, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Trail Maintenance, but were Afraid to Ask."“I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient of this prestigious award,” said Brian Windrope, Executive Director of Washington Trails Association. “Pete Dewell is a true steward of our public lands.Every hiker in Washington owes gratitude to Pete for how much he does to maintain Washington’s hiking trails.”
During this year's National Public Lands Day in September, Pete led a crew of volunteers to build a new one-mile trail that will provide foot access to an incredible viewpoint on Guemes Mountain, the centerpiece of the Guemes Mountain Conservation Area, a recently protected 70-acre parcel of land in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Not only is Pete spearheading the construction of this project, but he is a key reason the trail is getting built in the first place. It was Pete’s encouragement for collaboration between the San Juan Preservation Trust, the Skagit Land Trust, and WTA that made this new trail a reality. Pete wanted others to be able to see the beauty of the public lands he loves so much.
By the end of 2010, Pete will have spent close to half the year on trail with WTA. He’s working hard to keep the trails on our public lands safe and accessible, and all the while he is inspiring fellow hikers to join him on his mission.Congratulate Pete in person! To join a WTA trail maintenance work party near you, visit www.wta.org or call (206) 625-1367.