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WTA and Cougar Mountain Say, "Thanks, REI!"

Posted by Rebecca Lavigne at Jul 09, 2009 10:35 AM |
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In late June I had the opportunity to join a group of volunteers for a day of trail work on Cougar Mountain. Volunteers came from Kennewick, Tukwila, and Seattle — one even came all the way from the East Coast. We spent a productive day working in dappled sunlight along the Steam Hoist Trail, retreading and improving drainage. Trail runners, parents with kids and a retired couple out for a stroll paused to say thanks as they passed by.

You’ll find a WTA crews like this working nearly every day of the year on close-to-home trails as well as those far in the backcountry. What set this group apart was that they were all top-achieving REI employees who had been recognized by their peers with REI’s Anderson Award.

That day we got some good work accomplished. Even better, REI presented WTA with a $20,000 grant to help us keep up the good work all summer long. The cash and in-kind grant will help WTA lead more than 30,000 hours of volunteer work statewide between now and National Public Lands Day on September 26.

So, a hearty thank you to the REI Anderson Award winners who joined us on Cougar Mountain and to everyone at REI! Their generous, continued commitment to the hiking community is a big reason why, year after year, WTA is able to help keep your favorite trails open.

Rebecca Lavigne is WTA's Development Director