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
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.
I Picked Up 80 Pounds of Trail Trash in a Year. Here's What I Learned
Dec 30, 2019
If you're looking for hiking resolutions for 2020, here's what I learned from a year of collecting 80 lbs of light sabers, orange peels and water bottles.
10 Things WTA is Thankful For
Nov 27, 2019
When Washington spins into winter, the dark days can be challenging to endure. Fewer hours of daylight make it hard to get outside, but we believe it's a good time to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for: pikas, toilets, and a community who cares about each other.
Trail Champions in the House: Meet Five Leading Women in Washington's Legislature
Nov 06, 2019
This fall, we hiked with five Washington state representatives on trails in their home districts. We recently walked and talked outdoor recreation, physical health and economic benefits with Representatives Entenman, Jinkins, Leavitt, Robinson and Ryu.
Hiker Headlines: New Trail Opens, Grizzly Bears, Road Closure and Outdoor Preschools
Oct 03, 2019
It's Thursday, Oct. 3. WTA helped open up a new section of trail at Lake Whatcom Park. The public has a chance to comment on a plan to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades. Washington state is the first in the U.S. to license outdoor preschools. Washington State Parks has been honored as one of the best. And a new bill in the U.S. House could help get more people outside.
Throw Wide the Gates: Why Gatekeeping is Harmful to Hikers
Oct 01, 2019
Trails are for everyone, but not everyone feels welcome. Here are tips to be a more inclusive hiker.