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A new WTA record for volunteer hours!

Posted by Andrew Engelson at Oct 23, 2007 05:00 PM |
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What a year! 2007 began with an immediate challenge for our trail maintenance program: massive damage dished out by the storms of 2006. Washington Trails Association responded by planning a season of work to repair damaged trails, from fixing washed-out bridges to building reroutes. All we needed was the volunteers and member support to make it happen.

Fortunately, hundreds of volunteers were ready to pick up a shovel and lend a helping hand! WTA's work to protect and maintain hiking trails thrives on the involvement of these volunteers, and we've set new records in our biggest and best year yet.

WTA VolunteerAs of today, WTA has hosted 742 work parties in 2007, providing a whopping 76,856 hours of volunteer service on trails! 1,850 volunteers spent at least a day with us helping trails this year. We've already surpassed our volunteer record and it's only October!

Our weeklong Volunteer Vacations hosted 180 people on 29 trips for a whole week of volunteering in the backcountry in 2007, from building new trails around Carbon River washouts in March to a reroute of Little Wenatchee Trail earlier this month.

WTA's youth program set records as well: 9 Volunteer Vacations for youth hosted 71 teens from all over Puget Sound for a week of trail maintenance in a team-building, wilderness environment.

"I am really proud of the work that each one of us has done to make this year such a success," said Jenni Blake, WTA's director of trail maintenance. "We tackled storm damage head-on, and asked volunteers far and wide to lend a hand. The response was strong and swift. Without the volunteers and volunteer crew leaders, we would not be able to run the successful program that we currently have, and we would not have made the huge repairs to damaged trails that we made this year."

Now it is time to honor the 1,850 volunteers who made this year so great! Let us thank you properly on Friday November 2 at 5:30pm at Seattle REI (222 Yale Ave N). Come share memories from the trail, make friends, and maybe even take home a great door prize! Click here to RSVP to WTA's Volunteer Appreciation 2007 on November 2.

For volunteers from Southwest Washington, join us at 6 p.m., Tues.. Nov. 13 at the Clark County PUD, (8600 NE 117th Ave.). RSVP here. And for folks on the peninsula and West Sound, join our Olympic Volunteer Appreciation, on December 8 from 1-4pm at the Quilcene Community Center, on Hwy 101 in Quilcene, next to the Hood Canal Ranger station.

Photo of volunteer at Mount Rainier National Park by Jason Zabriskie.