WTA Nine Best for '09
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Top Ten lists are so overdone. So we thought we'd do a Top Nine for '09.
This has been the year of more, more and more here at Washington Trails Association. We've had more volunteers in more places doing more work than ever before. More hikers are getting more up-to-the-minute information about their favorite hiking trails than ever before via the website. And more youth are getting involved (and doing great work) than ever before.
Without further ado, here are a few of our favorite things...
- As the web editor, my favorite is the addition of more than 600 Hiking Guide entries courtesy of Mountaineers Books. These are the full descriptions by Craig Romano, Dan Nelson and Alan Bauer from their six Day Hiking books.
- WTA's Trail Maintenance volunteers broke more records in 2009 - 93,000 hours of work on trails. And what an impressive list of trails it is! Check out the list of 130 trails we worked on and other trail accomplishments.
- WTA's trail work in the Colville National Forest and near Spokane took off in 2009. Volunteers logged more than 2700 hours during 32 trail days in places like the Kettle Crest, Salmo-Priest, Iller Creek and Big Rock.
- On the other side of the state, WTA finished a three-year project to build a new trail to Hardy Ridge at Beacon Rock State Park along the Columbia River Gorge.
- More than 500 kids and teenagers participated volunteered on the trail this year. Teenagers taking part in two weeks of Advanced Youth Vacations at Hyas Lake did incredibly impressive work creating new puncheon on the trail.
- WTA launched a new youth program called Steps into Wilderness, designed to help schools and organizations get more youth outdoors. We piloted it with Horn of Africa Services and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
- In response to many reader requests, Washington Trails magazine expanded to 12 color pages per issue. The color truly makes the photos and articles come more alive, as seen in our six page feature on Hiking the Entiat in the May/June issue.
- WTA's rallied support at the national and state level for trails and recreation funding. We welcomed the biggest increases in federal recreation funding in more than twenty years and helped avert the closure of many important state parks.
- Despite the economic downturn, WTA membership grew in 2009. We are now 8,000 members strong. Thank you, members! Impressed? We'd love to have you join as a new member OR to add your year-end donation to our $22,500 goal.