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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.

Why (And How) My Family Makes Time for Hiking Together

May 04, 2021

My family and I love being able to enjoy nature together. But when plans interfere with our daily life, connecting with nature and communicating with each other in a fun way sometimes fall to the wayside. As a WTA youth ambassador, however, I know how important it is to spend time outside.

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Hiker Headlines: Lingering Snow, Dog Mountain, Youth Trail Work, Trail Connections

Apr 01, 2021

Even though it’s officially spring, hikers should still plan for winter conditions on trail. Dog Mountain permits are now available online. The priority period for Youth Volunteer Vacation applications is now open. Libraries across the state are lending Discover Passes. In Bellevue, an important trail segment has been completed. And a few other news stories good for a laugh.

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5 Big Take-Aways from WTA's First Virtual Hiker Rally

Mar 17, 2021

2021 brought a new twist to our biannual Hiker Rally Day — like many other events have been for the last year, it was all-virtual. WTA staff learned a lot about what it takes to move to an online format. But more importantly, we were inspired, as always, by our hiker advocates who showed up to speak out for our trails and public lands.

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Youth Volunteer Vacations: What You Need to Know for 2021

Mar 16, 2021

At WTA, we know that the disruptions, stress and social isolation of the previous year makes outdoor opportunities for teens more important than ever. WTA is excited to resume our Youth Volunteer Vacation program in 2021, where youth ages 14-18 build trails and community together in beautiful places across Washington state.

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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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Outdoor Ed: Head Outside for Fun and Learning

Oct 07, 2020

What a year. We're planted in front of glowing screens more than ever before, and parents have it especially rough, what with juggling jobs, childcare and trying to manage schooling at home. If you find yourself called upon to be a teacher as well as a parent these days, let WTA help you out.

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Problem-Solving in a Pandemic: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors in the Time of COVID

Aug 13, 2020

Navigating a pandemic has forced all of us to approach work in a new way. If you can do your job online, tech makes it relatively easy, but in-person work is a puzzle: how do you offer quality connections and complete trail projects when physical distance is the number one way to support public health right now?

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Inspiration and Advice for Getting Out on Trail with Kids

Jul 31, 2020

Time on trail with kids can create magical memories that last a lifetime. Here are some tips from members of our community on how to get out with your own kids.

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Talking About My Generation

Jun 11, 2020

Youth are a powerful force for trails.

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WTA Youth Ambassadors: Adaptable and Driven

Apr 13, 2020

It's been an interesting year for our latest cohort of youth ambassadors — but we've been immensely proud of everything these tireless teens have already been able to accomplish for trails.

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Some Good News. Outdoor Recreation Wins in the State Budget

Mar 16, 2020

The 2020 state legislative session is over and there were lots of wins for public lands and outdoor recreation. Our lawmakers supported everything from sustainable funding sources and Discover Passes in libraries to State Parks and No Child Left Inside. Take a moment to thank them.

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Making Sure No Child Is Left Inside

Feb 25, 2020

The No Child Left Inside program provides important grants to outdoor education and recreation programs for youth in Washington. Learn more about the program and how you can ensure its continued success.

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We Fix 'Em, You Hike 'Em: 8 Trails WTA Has Already Refreshed in 2020

Jan 21, 2020

WTA's trail maintenance program has been busy this month. We kicked off 2020 by breaking ground on brand new trails and continuing work on dozens of other trails. We even had a ribbon-cutting — broadening a trail network trail that hikers already loved.

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Teaching on Trail: Custom Workshops For Educators of Youth

Jan 06, 2020

Through workshops, a free gear library and trip funding, the OLT program provides customized training for educators who want to take youth groups outside.

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1 Summer, 300 Miles, 15 Friends

Nov 22, 2019

Annalise had two plans for the summer before her senior year of high school: take the SAT and hike 300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Lost Trails Youth Crew Spends Five Weeks in the Pasayten Wilderness

Sep 23, 2019

Our Lost Trails Youth Crew made big impacts (and big memories) this summer as they improved trails in the remote Pasayten Wilderness.

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How Youth are Building Trails and Community — Now and For the Future

Sep 19, 2019

Here's a look at what WTA's youth crews accomplished this summer.

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Hiker Headlines: Discover Pass Fees, Kids Hike Free, Olympics Campgrounds Close for Season

Sep 12, 2019

The new Transit to Trails bill makes it easier for everyone to get outdoors, nationwide. State park goers might see a Discover Pass fee increase, while fourth graders get a free pass to play outside in national recreation areas. It’s the last weekend to camp at some Olympic National Forest campgrounds. And do you love trails? Apply to be an ambassador!

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Young Stewards Explore and Lend a Hand on Washington Trails

Sep 09, 2019

The power of partnerships helps the Deaf T-Birds, a high school group, get out to explore and clean up Olympic beaches.

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Lost Trails Youth Corps: Tackling Backcountry Trails with Teamwork

Jun 12, 2019

This June, an all-star crew of 10 hardworking teens will embark on a 5-week long trail maintenance and leadership development journey thanks to the continuation of our partnership with the Northwest Youth Corps (NYC).

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Fourth Graders, Fifth Graders and Fun: WTA Youth Ambassador Leads Classroom Hikes

May 23, 2019

The Youth Ambassador Program gives leadership training opportunities to teens, who use their skills to plan trails-related projects in their own communities.

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Connecting Youth and Nature — for Learning and Fun

Mar 25, 2019

Since 2014, the Glacier Peak Institute has been creating paths for local youth to get outdoors. The institute is a strong example of a WTA Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT) program partner with a deep dedication to providing outdoor experiences to youth.

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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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Rockstar Community Leaders Champion Outdoor Adventures

Dec 20, 2018

Meet three determined outdoor leaders who led memorable trips for their schools and programs this year.

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3 Organizations That Go Outside to Train the Next Generation of Scientists

Nov 13, 2018

Three ways that graduates from WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program are taking kids outside to learn about science and inspire the next generation of outdoor leaders.

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Youth Ambassadors Do it Again!

Aug 08, 2018

Hard hat's off to another successful year of WTA's Youth Ambassador Program. This year’s Youth Ambassadors went above and beyond the expectations, setting an even higher bar for the class of 2018-19.

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Teaming Up with Northwest Youth Corps Up in the Pasayten

Jul 23, 2018

Thanks to WTA supporters and new partnerships, a Lost Trails Youth Corps crew will spend five weeks fixing hard-to-reach sections of trail in the Pasayten Wilderness.

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Where are They Now? Alex Compeau, Youth Ambassador

Jun 29, 2018

Learn how a past Youth Ambassador has used his experience with WTA to further his passion for trails, outdoor recreation, and the sciences.

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Like a Boss -- One Youth Volunteer Learns to Lead on Trail

May 22, 2018

Learn how Haylee Darby went from volunteer to youth ambassador to assistant crew leader.

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Learning Skills, Building Strength on All-Girls Work Parties

Apr 04, 2018

For 10 years, WTA's all-girl trips have empowered young women on trail.

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