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Profiles, Interviews & Perspectives

Volunteer Crew Leaders Make Our Work Happen

Apr 22, 2019

If you've volunteered with WTA, you know the impact just one day on trail can make. But there might be more volunteers on your work party than you realize...

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Everyone Has a Legacy

Apr 15, 2019

For Russ Levy, caring for trails means thinking beyond his own lifetime — and planning to leave a legacy that includes caring for trails and wild space for generations to come.

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How to Dress Your Baby for Hiking All Year Long

How to choose the right clothes to keep your baby — and you — happy on the trail.

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Time for Self

In a period of turmoil, time outdoors was both respite and reawakening | by shon't savage

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Where Are They Now: Jessie Thoreson Has Spent Every Summer Outdoors

Mar 11, 2019

Youth program alum and volunteer Jessie Thoreson been working outside since the summer she spent interning with WTA. She told us how interning with WTA helped her choose her major, and what she's been up to since then.

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Stories of Strong Women Who Love the Outdoors

Mar 07, 2019

In honor of International Day of the Woman, get to know Tessa Hulls, who is sharing the lost historical stories of women going solo in the outdoors. Plus, meet some of the strong women of the WTA and hiking community.

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Q&A with Touray Kungkagam: Making Time and Finding Awe in Nature

Feb 26, 2019

Touray Kungkagam has been finding adventure outside for years. He shares those adventures in his trip reports, and they range from wintry ascents requiring technical skill, to weight training with a toddler, to family-friendly strolls in the mountains.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dana Pounds

Jan 14, 2019

WTA trail work volunteer Dana Pounds is the definition of can-do. A 20-year battle with a rare form of cancer hasn't dimmed her positivity and optimism, and losing her leg hasn't kept her off trail. She joined WTA on her first work party earlier this month.

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What It Takes to Research and Write 500 Hikes for WTA

Dec 14, 2018

WTA's hiking guide content manager, Anna Roth, just finished writing her 500th hike. She reflects on highs, lows and what she's learned.

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Wrap Up: A Working Mom's Year of Backpacking Once a Month

Dec 03, 2018

In January, Washington Trails editor Jessi Loerch set a goal to go backpacking once a month. She reflects on the year's adventures, and what she learned.

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Washington State Trails Conference: Learning More About How Our Trail System Works

Nov 13, 2018

The 2018 Washington Trails Conference was full of learning opportunities and fascinating information about what goes into the trails we enjoy.

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Where Are They Now: Arlen Bogaards

Oct 31, 2018

Arlen Bogaards is our Northwest Regional Manager, but he started his career at WTA as a volunteer.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kim, Norah and Adam

Sep 10, 2018

Get to know three of our newest hard hat recipients.

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22 Years of Trail Work with WTA

Sep 06, 2018

From volunteer to WTA field manager, Alan Carter Mortimer has dedicated 22 years of work to Washington's trails.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Clare Paden

Aug 01, 2018

How wrestling with one stubborn stump led one volunteer to taking a leadership role in trail work parties around the state.

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Being a New Mom Was Hard. Hiking Helped.

Jul 24, 2018

Shanti Hodges is the creator of Hike It Baby, and the author of a new book featuring hikes you can enjoy with your whole family.

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Where Are They Now? Seasonal Crew Leader Jacob Mandell

Jul 16, 2018

Jacob Mandell worked at WTA for two years and his enthusiasm, gentle leadership and big smile were big motivators for the many volunteers he worked with. He's since taken his expertise to Colorado, where he's on a trail maintenance crew in the Routt National Forest.

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GirlTrek: Walking as a Radical Act of Self-Care

Jun 28, 2018

GirlTrek started as a hiking club. It quickly grew into a movement to reverse the systemic health crisis experienced by black women and transform the health and well-being of entire communities.

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Father's Day: Outdoor Lessons From our Dads, Uncles and Grandfathers

Jun 14, 2018

This week, we asked Washington Trails Association staff if they had learned anything about the outdoors or nature from their fathers, uncles or grandpas.

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Where Are They Now? Seasonal Crew Leader Lauren Glass

May 29, 2018

Lauren Glass joined WTA two years ago with an impressive resume from working with youth. After two years crew leading with us, she headed to Colorado to manage the youth program at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. We caught up with her to see how it's going.

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Where Are They Now? Seasonal Crew Leader Margaret Ullman-Hess

May 24, 2018

Now working for Mountains to Sound Greenway, Margaret Ullman-Hess got her first taste of trail work as a seasonal crew leader with WTA. We asked her what hooked her, and how she took what she learned at WTA into her professional career.

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"It's Okay to Get Dirty" — Outdoor Wisdom from Our Mothers, Aunties and Grandmothers

May 11, 2018

Wielding axes, courage, common sense and adventurous spirits, the women who raised WTA staffers are part of why we are so committed to trails.

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Progress Report: Backpacking All Year

Apr 05, 2018

Washington Trails editor and mom Jessi Loerch set a goal for herself to backpack once a month this year. She's on track, and finding the sweet spot between spending alone time in the wilderness and sharing nature with some close friends.

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The Three Cs: Raising a Child Who Loves Nature

Apr 04, 2018

Krista Dooley, parent and the youth and volunteer programs director at WTA, on how a simple walk in the woods with her young daughter builds curiosity, courage and confidence.

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Two WTA Volunteers Recognized by Friends of Olympic National Park

Mar 23, 2018

WTA crew leader Rebecca Wanagel and Washington Trails contributor Kelsie Donleycott have been recognized as super-volunteers this year. Read why.

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Landscapes of Love: Stitching Our Stories into Wild Places

Feb 14, 2018

When we make our memories on trails and in wild places, they take on a kind of permanence and heft, long after we’ve packed up our tents and gone.

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Go Camping with your Family this Winter

Feb 02, 2018

Winter and early spring are a great time to go camping with your family. Here's why, and some tips on how to do it.

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How 3 Unique Volunteers Help Fuel WTA

Jan 22, 2018

Meet three volunteers who are helping out across the organization, and learn how they're making a difference for Washington's trails.

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Meet the Trail Community: Wildland Firefighter

Dec 18, 2017

As a helitack manager, Chris O'Brien spends much of his time managing fire and looking at trails from the air. But when he can, he heads out to volunteer, or simply take a short walk on trails near his winter home in Olympia.

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Meet the Trail Community: Mountain Biker

Dec 01, 2017

Mountain biker Melissa MacKelvie wants everyone to find their connection to nature. It's empowering, and builds the community of people who care deeply about trails.

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