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“There are bike lanes, and then there are bike lanes. The best have something the […]
The post Washington Bike Summit: Featured Speaker Martha Roskowski appeared first on Washington Bikes.
Working for trails isn't limited to log-outs and gravel-grading. Sometimes, in order to serve our favorite places, hikers have to trade their boots for a business suit.
On Tuesday, more than 60 hikers from all over the state joined us in Olympia to tell legislators why funding for trails and equitable access to the outdoors are critical issues for Washington.
Investing in Washington’s trails and public lands benefits nearly every resident of our state: 90 percent of Washingtonians walk, hike or climb each year in our state’s great outdoors.Fostering the next generation of hiker advocates
We want to show hikers that advocacy is an easy -- and incredibly important -- way to protect the trails they love. So, we began the day with some advocacy training and a conversation about what our elected leaders can do about issues affecting outdoor access.
In addition to the many adult advocates, this year's lobby day also featured the largest group of youth advocates we've ever had!
Almost a dozen future-voters joined us for a day of meetings with their elected officials. They ranged from seasoned youth trail volunteers to families to an environmental club from Granite Falls High School.Funding the outdoors: ‘It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about a great idea.’
A great idea. That’s how Senator Kevin Ranker (D-40) described putting an advisor focused on outdoor recreation in the Governor’s office. The bill (SB 5843) Ranker was discussing would also fully fund the No Child Left Inside program, which provides grants for outdoor education and outdoor recreation programs for youth.
Senator Ranker was also joined by Senator Linda Evans-Parlette (R-12) and Representatives Steve Tharinger (D-24) and J.T. Wilcox (R-2) at a briefing in support of the bill.
WTA advocates made up more than half of the 90+ citizens who signed on in support of the bill at a hearing held Tuesday.
We also spoke to legislators about other priorities for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts:
The legislative session is in full swing now and with bill deadlines quickly approaching, we need you to contact your elected officials.
You can continue to be involved by:
Learning about the issues that affect your favorite trails,
Tweeting your legislator: “We need your help, @(twitter handle) to keep trails accessible for all! Please fund the outdoors this year #waleg”
You can find your legislator’s twitter handle on this list.
Signing up for the Trail Action Network,
Becoming a member of Washington Trails Association.
With your support, we will make sure all Washingtonians have equal access to trails.
Want to go camping and hiking with a group of teens from all over Washington? If you're a high school student between the ages of 14 - 18 and you love to be outdoors, try a Youth Volunteer Vacation with Washington Trails Association this summer.
Along with exploring gorgeous places, WTA will teach you how the trails you love to hike on came to be. During the day, you'll learn all about building and maintaining hiking trails in safe, teamwork-oriented environments. In the evening, you can look forward to awesome food and fun times in camp with your crew and your crew leaders.
We're taking applications on a rolling basis, but there are still plenty of trips with room on them. See the ones listed below to find out where you could be spending a week of your summer.#girlpower: building trails in Mount Rainier National Park
Join a bunch of awesome ladies as you work on a gorgeous trail near Washington's most famous mountain. You'll be working on a trail WTA has a long history with. The Glacier Basin Trail is a place WTA has spent a lot of time on, and with views like this, it's not hard to see why we love it so much.
Don't forget your camera for this one. The PCT at Indian Pass is renowned for its beauty, and the less well-known North Fork Skykomish Trail has beautiful, sweeping panoramas. Andrews Creek, in the Pasayten Wilderness, suffered wildfire damage last year, but burned stands of trees are conducive to wildflowers, and the contrast of black tree trunks against bright wildflowers make for great #latergrams.
OK, so it's not quite glamping, but for these trips, base camp is at the trailhead, which means you can bring a few more items to make camp more cozy. You'll still be hiking to the work site every day, but all you have to bring is your day pack and lunch.
In the North Cascades, the North Fork Sauk River trip will have you relaxing in lush greenery, while at Tiffany Lake you'll be in the rolling Pasayten Wilderness, camping and working along a trail that boats a glittering alpine lake and brightly colored wildflowers.
If you love DIY projects or crafting's your thing, one of these trips would be a great way to expand your set of skills. We'll be building trail structures in the Olympics this summer, and you'd have the opportunity to help!
The Wynoochee Lakeshore trip will be replacing handrails on a bridge in order to keep hikers safe, and the crew at West Fork Humptulips will build a puncheon (basically a low bridge over a boggy section of trail).
Learn more about WTA's Youth Volunteer Vacation Program
Watch a short video about past volunteers' experiences on Youth Volunteer Vacations.
Clark County residents, would you like more hiking and walking trails like the Camas Lily field at Lacamas Park, the Cedar Loop at Whipple Creek, or the new Vancouver Lake trail being built by WTA volunteers?
The Clark County and the Parks Advisory Board are working together to update the long range plan that would guide the purchase of land for parks, trails and other recreation facilities. Your input will help shape the plans priorities.
Make your voice count by taking the parks survey, writing a letter or attending one of the open houses below.A pen and Pulaski: they both help build trails
Join WTA in advocating for access to high quality trails that connect people of all ages and abilities to the natural world; trails that offer opportunities exercise, relaxation and active transportation. The pen and keyboard can be just as mighty as the shovel and Pulaski when it comes to building new trails, so speak up in the survey or with a letter!
County residents can participate by taking an online community survey that will help set priorities and determine how limited resources are spent. The survey takes only about 5 minutes to complete.Attend an open house
In addition, three open houses have been scheduled on the long-range parks plan:
Let’s give a big round of applause from our computer screens to Lisa Cochran, everyone who pitched in to help plan, and all of those who volunteered at the 2014 Ohio River Sweep for winning the 2014 National River Cleanup Photo Contest! The Ohio River Sweep is one of the longest lasting cleanups we see in the country. Let’s learn about how they got their start.
Prior to 1989, Jeanne Ison, the Public Information Manager of ORSANCO (Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission) was sampling the Ohio River downstream of the Cincinnati area, with fellow ORSANCO staff. While sampling, Jeanne was disturbed by the volume of trash and debris that had collected along the shoreline. This litter unnecessarily contributed to a belief that many people in the Ohio Valley held that the Ohio River was “dirty” and polluted. ORSANCO had been working to improve the water quality of the Ohio River for 50 years at that time, but this belief was prevalent among many people. To address the litter problem and bring people to the shores of the Ohio River to see the water quality first-hand, Jeanne Ison decided to coordinate a cleanup event.
The first year of the Ohio River Sweep covered a 150 mile stretch of river from Cincinnati, Ohio to Ashland, Kentucky. The cleanup has grown and in 2014 covered 3000 miles of shoreline along the Ohio River and its tributaries across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois and engaged 17,000 volunteers!
In 2015 Ohio River Sweep organizers plan on hosting over 100 cleanup sites and distributing 17,000 t-shirts, 1,000 posters, and 20,000 trash bags!