Written by Nancy Stone, Education & Sustainability Director ([email protected])
The Trail Sustainability Institute (TSI) is NWTA’s educational branch of the organization that was established in the Summer of 2019. Within TSI is our beloved Trail School. Here, we offer folks who may be new(er) to trail maintenance an opportunity to get their hands dirty while learning the fundamentals of trail maintenance. Like everything else in the world, Trail School experienced an abrupt pause in 2020, followed by a timid and cautious restart in 2021. With established COVID-19 protocols in place, Trail School is hitting the road!
NWTA has stewardship and lease agreements with many land agencies and trail systems across the area, many of which we will be hosting Trail Schools at in the upcoming months. We had a strong start at Sandy Ridge in November and look forward to heading west to the Sickter Lars Trail in the Tillamook State Forest and a Trail Sister’s specific Trail School at Klootchy Creek, both on January 22nd. Also on the calendar are the Gorge 400 Trail in Cascade Locks (2/6) and Gateway Green (3/27).
The beauty of NWTA’s membership growth is that it matches our growth in stewardship opportunities. As we continue on this path, we see the value in having knowledgeable Trail Stewards that are confident and competent to maintain trails and ensure that our work is sustainable and of high quality. Trail School is the place where these seeds are planted.
Trail School covers the principal skills needed to maintain our trails. Participants will learn about sustainable trail practices, safety techniques, and tool identification/uses, and hands-on training of corridor clearing, drainage, tread, and benchwork.
With 65+ years of combined trail knowledge and specialized skills in hydrology, landscape architecture, stream restoration, and habitat enhancement (the list goes on), our team of Instructors is passionate about sharing their knowledge and love of trails with volunteers. And although they can nerd out on the ends and outs of all things related to trails, they will each tell you- it’s more about the relationships you build on the trail than the trail itself. Trails are the gateway to nature and meeting some pretty great people.
If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Trail School, follow us on social media or our monthly newsletter for sign-up opportunities.
Questions? Hit up our Education Director, Nancy Stone @ [email protected].