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Meet WTA’s Remarkable Volunteer Crew Leaders

Posted by Rebecca Lavigne at Jul 08, 2015 11:30 AM |
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WTA's assistant crew leaders are committed to keeping our volunteer community growing and thriving.

Before the start of summer trail work season, I attended a workshop on how to engage youth in trail building and maintenance projects—a timely topic since nearly one-quarter of WTA’s trail volunteers are kids and teens. In attendance were volunteers who help lead WTA trail work parties on the Olympic Peninsula, in Spokane and everywhere in between.

Crew Leader College 2015
Volunteers, staff and partners at WTA's Crew Leader College, hosted by the Snoqualmie Ranger District in North Bend. At this annual gathering, volunteers attend and teach classes on trail building and maintenance. Photo by Kindra Ramos.

The workshop was part of WTA’s annual Crew Leader College, a gathering of some of the most dedicated stewards of trails in Washington, including the five volunteers I got to chat with:

  • Dave Blevins is one of WTA’s longest-serving volunteers, approaching two decades of service to trails, yet he doesn’t tire of sharing what he’s learned with the next generation.
  • Lezlie Cox is thrilled to welcome first-time volunteers to WTA work parties. She is continually building her own trail skills and is considered a mentor by other crew leaders.
  • Randy Greyerbiehl is a pioneer helping WTA do more for hikers in Spokane and Eastern Washington. He shows how volunteers can turn dreams into reality.
  • Marta Sheridan is the kind of volunteer leader who asks, “How can I help?” and often pitches in before you even realized help was needed.
  • You can’t spend much time with Rick Zitzmann before his love of trail work, especially the art of the crosscut saw, rubs off on you.

These remarkable volunteers are among more than 125 assistant crew leaders committed to keeping WTA’s trail volunteer community—already some 3,700 strong—growing and thriving. WTA invests in this ever-growing group of leaders with skill-building events like Crew Leader College, where hands-on learning on topics like how to build a retaining wall or protect a trail from erosion is side by side with sessions on leadership and how to engage teams of volunteers from all walks of life. As federal, state and local land managers depend more on volunteer groups like WTA to keep trails open, that’s a good thing.

Learn how you can volunteer with us and improve trails all over Washington.