What an incredible year!
With the support of hikers all over the state, Washington Trails Association built and improved 170 trails across the state -- more than ever before. We also helped put a record number of volunteers (including first-time and youth volunteers) to work on trail projects. Together, we have accomplished more for the trails in this state than in any year prior.
Record volunteer turn-out built and improved 170 trails across the state
- WTA connected nearly 2,700 volunteers with needed trail projects across the state in 2012, contributing close to 100,000 hours of work. These volunteers contributed $2 million worth of service to Washington’s public lands in 2012.
- More than 1,700 volunteers were new this year, and 38 percent of the all volunteers came out more than once. What’s more, 525 volunteers donated 5 days or more of their time.
- WTA volunteers maintained and improved a record 170 different trails this year. While fielding multiple work parties on weekends and during the summer, WTA hosted 1,117 days of trail work over the course of the year. Volunteers chose between one-day work parties, week-long volunteer vacations and self-supported multi-day Backcountry Response Teams.
Duckabush fire restoration, repair at Comet Falls, work along the Pacific Crest Trail and so much more.
> Trail work in 2012
- WTA’s work spread across the state and among 23 land management agencies. Our trail crews worked in two national parks, five national forests, nine state parks, the State Department of Natural Resources, two county park systems, a national wildlife refuge, two city parks and a land trust. This allowed WTA to work year-round addressing trails close to urban areas as well as those penetrating deep wilderness and everything in between.
Youth and teens made up 15 percent of WTA’s trail work in 2012
- Kids and teens contributed a record number of hours this year, making up 15 percent of WTA’s overall trail work. Of the 300 green hardhats bestowed upon volunteers on their fifth work party, 100 went to volunteers under 18 this year.
- Partnerships with 18 different school and community groups fueled growth in WTA’s youth program. YMCA’s BOLD program volunteered 13 days on trail, Mercer Island VOICE spent 8 days and various Boy Scout troops and other community partners were also key players.
WTA is the #1 Information Source for Hikers in Washington
- 5,800 Trip Reports of their hikes this year, sharing hiking conditions, hidden trails and their experiences across the state. More than 2,100 hikers have written more than
- WTA’s partnership with Mountaineers Books provided hikers with professionally-researched hiking information about more than 900 trails.
- WTA redesigned both its website, wta.org, and Washington Trails magazine this year. Now mobile-friendly, the wta.org has a new feature that allows hikers to save hikes they’d like to do later. Our trip reports are now available on WTA’s first mobile app for Windows phone users. The magazine boasts a new cover design and more hiker-friendly content and photos.
- The second annual Hike-the-State event filled in record time, bringing together 250 hikers with regional experts who shared dozens of great hike suggestions from around the state.
- Social media is a core element of WTA's engagement work, with 20,900 Facebook fans, 5,100 Twitter followers, and 7,000 Pinterest followers who plug in to WTA's mission.
- A new Families Go Hiking email newsletter links 1,831 people to family-friendly hiking information and advice.
WTA is a strong voice for hikers
- Faced with the real possibility of losing federal trail funding dollars, WTA helped rally hikers to preserve the Recreation Trails Program, which funds nearly 20 percent of our trails program budget as well as many other trail maintenance projects around the state. Without it, WTA would have been forced to significantly scale back a trail maintenance program that both hikers and land management agencies have come to rely upon.
- WTA successfully advocated in Olympia for improvements to the newly minted state Discover Pass, helping passing a bill that made the pass transferable between two household vehicles. The law also creates a new $50 universally transferable pass and lets purchasers choose their own start date.
Thanks to member support, WTA has achieved more for the hiking community in 2012 than ever before. In fact, we rely on the financial generosity of members like you for over half of our annual funding. Whether you've been a loyal member for years or just joined for the first time, we thank you.