Women on Trail Sharing Skills for Maintaining Trails
Work party gives women a chance to learn technical trail skills from other experienced women.
By Arlen Bogaards
In March, WTA held a fun and successful all-women day work party at Blanchard Mountain. The idea had been spearheaded by WTA crew leader Barbara Budd.
Barbara put the work party together after being approached by volunteer crew leaders looking to share their knowledge one-on-one with other women.
Once it was on the calendar, Barbara suggested that regular volunteers bring a person new to trail work.
"I thought it would be a great place for first-time volunteers to work." She was right. "There were 26 participants, 9 of them first-timers, and everyone was thrilled to be there."
Feedback from the crew afterwards was positive, too. Many volunteers said they had a great time, and asked if WTA would organize another. One frequent volunteer particularly enjoyed it, saying it was a great low-pressure environment to learn in.
The crew learned a variety of technical skills, including managing grip hoist (a tool that can help remove stumps) and zip line safely and effectively, boardwalk building and tread repair. Barbara ensured there were things to learn regardless of the volunteer's experience level.
Several volunteers even drove up from Seattle to participate. We are planning on scheduling another event in the northwest region in June, and will likely consider hosting more events like these in other parts of the state. Keep an eye on our volunteer calendar for a chance to participate in a work party near your.
WTA also offers longer all-women Volunteer Vacation trips for women and girls.