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Building a Recreation Movement

WTA has built coalitions with other outdoor recreation groups, land managers and organizations from all corners of the state and created opportunities to empower all hikers to become champions for trails.

Building a Recreation Movement. Photo by Jenn Bonk-Brown..jpg

Washington is a big state with many beautiful places to explore, restore, maintain and sustain. Partnership and collaboration help us go farther, ensuring everyone has a stake in the future of Washington’s trails. We create opportunities to empower all hikers to become champions for trails. WTA is a keystone advocate, bringing together broad coalitions of partners to advance collaborative solutions for durable trail systems.

We help create an outdoor advocate community by:

    • Bringing together the full range of partners from land management agencies to outdoor organizations and businesses to protect places and outdoor experiences in Washington State.
      In partnership with others, we developed the Recreate Responsibly Coalition (RRC) at the beginning of the pandemic. It has since grown into a national organization with chapters across the country. RRC convenes a diverse network of outdoor industry, conservation and land management experts to share cohesive messaging around keeping people, places, and communities safe; accessing outdoor benefits essential to the human experience; and building an inclusive outdoors.
    • Advancing regional, statewide and federal collaboratives to strengthen outcomes for our trail networks.
      We convene partnerships to facilitate community-informed planning processes for beloved trail systems, including the Mountain Loop Highway and Teanaway Community Forest. We advocate for innovative trail systems policies, for example, leading a critical process to incorporate public engagement in the Alpine Lakes Collaborative. We ensure hikers' voices make it into shared spaces for planning and advocacy – in collaborative efforts such as the Olympic Peninsula Outdoor Recreation Collaborative, Puget Sound Trail Access Network and the Partnership for the National Trails System.  
  • Empowering individuals to become champions for trails. 
    We train WTA ambassadors on our advocacy priorities and have created a connected outdoor advocate community through our 60,000+ member Trail Action Network. We empower individuals to champion trails and public lands with lawmakers in Olympia at our biennial Hiker Rally Day.
  • Advocating for more community-benefitting research on the positive effects of nature on hearts, minds and bodies.
    After encouraging the state legislature to fund the study in 2018, the “Economic and Health Benefits of Walking, Hiking, and Bicycling on Recreational Trails in Washington State” was published in late 2019, demonstrating the impact of trails and the outdoors on health and the economy.

How you help:

  • Join the movement! Sign up for our Trail Action Network for the latest ways to get involved and speak up for trails and public lands.