With The Trail Next Door, we're exploring how WTA can best benefit people looking to access urban green spaces and trails; from encouraging people to explore and invest in neighborhood trails to expanding the types of volunteer opportunities we offer.
We are listening to partner organizations and trying out new strategies for improving access and availability of urban trails. Learn more about them below!
HIKING GUIDE IMPROVEMENTS
There are nearly 200 hike entries for "trails next door" in the WTA Hiking Guide, and throughout 2020 we'll be working to add new trails, improve existing information and add public transit directions when possible to these entries. Many urban parks have large trail systems with multiple routes, and we've heard from partner organizations and city hikers is that it can be hard to figure out the best one to take when exploring a new city park. You can help other nearby hikers by writing a trip report for your next urban hike and tagging #trailnextdoor.
Volunteer trail work to improve urban trails
We're excited to roll up our sleeves and run volunteer work parties in urban parks across the state. Initially, the majority of these will be concentrated in King and Pierce Counties. We are trying to focus our work on neighborhoods and areas that have less access to green spaces and can serve large populations of people for the greatest impact. In addition, we're also experimenting with shorter half day work parties in select areas of the state that will give new volunteers the opportunity to join us in their neighborhood park without the need for a lengthy time investment. Keep an eye on our volunteer sign up page for an upcoming work party in your area!
see what else we're working on
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Finding Gaps in the Trail Network
Jun 02, 2021
Putting a focus on trails and other ways for people to safely move around urban areas can make for a stronger trail system and a healthier community. Having nature nearby is one thing — but getting to it safely is another. A new state effort is working to eliminate gaps that make it hard for walkers, bikers or wheelchair users to get around.
WTA Volunteers Create Easier Access to Green Space in Vancouver
May 13, 2021
As part of our Trails Next Door work, WTA volunteers recently completed work in the Blandford Canyon Greenway. The trail reroute makes it easier to access the green space near Vancouver.
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.
Centering Community Helped Build a Strong Urban Trail System in Bellingham
Apr 19, 2021
Fourteen years of work by WTA and our partners have transformed an urban trail system in Bellingham.
WTA Helps Build Access to Green Space with New Trail in King County
Apr 16, 2021
Over the last year, WTA has been working with King County Parks to plan for the opening of a new forested park in unincorporated North Highline in Seattle. Last month, WTA’s Leadership & Inclusion Crew spent two days at the new park working on trail layout and design. When it's complete, the trail will provide the community access to a green space.
UW's Nature and Health Group Talks Time Outside
Mar 22, 2021
What researchers are discovering about how and why being outside is so good for us.