Our greatest trail building era occurred in the 1930s, when President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built thousands of miles of trails on public lands across the country.
The CCC was the first New Deal program created in response to the Great Depression and aimed at helping young men gain working skills and earn a wage during difficult times.
While the times have changed, volunteers on TKO projects take home a similar sense of satisfaction as those CCC boys experienced in the 1930s. In exchange for muddy clothes, sore muscles and tired hands, our volunteers come away with a strong sense of satisfaction from having done their part to keep a trail alive and, in turn, ensure that future generations can also share the hiking experience. Often, our projects are on trails built by the CCC; in that way, TKO is part of the same legacy.
The CCC trails marked a turning point in our history, as most of these trails were built expressly for recreation and to give ordinary Americans a way to enjoy our public lands. Since that time, the country has outgrown our legacy trail system, and we see that today at popular trails around Oregon.
Today, almost all trails on our public lands are now maintained by volunteers. From team building events, to trail parties, and organizing behind the scenes, there’s a way everyone can help.
We begin with maintenance and stewardship projects that preserve current trails, with the idea that we’re not willing to lose another trail to neglect.
As a Trailkeepers of Oregon supporter, you’re helping ensure that our sacred outdoor spaces are protected and maintained for years to come.
Steve has worked in parks and natural areas for nearly 15 years, around San Francisco, Milwaukee, WI, and Portland – connecting people to nature was integral to his passion. Prior to TKO, he served 10 years with Oregon State Parks, spending his last 2 years with the Gorge State Parks management team.
A life long Cascadian, Natalie grew up hiking, camping, and climbing trees in Southwest Washington. After earning her degree in Environmental Science at Washington State University, Natalie worked in data management and outdoor recreation, and interned with Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
Originally from the Midwest, Susan’s graduate work in ecological landscape design led to trail work and TKO. Susan takes every chance she gets to maintain and preserve outdoor spaces, on trail crews, as a neighborhood tree steward, as a master naturalist, and kicking off local conservation efforts.
Riley grew up in the Midwest and spent most of her childhood boating, camping, hiking, and traveling all over the country with her family. With her Natural Resource Management degree from Ball State University, she has worked in various fields that eventually led her to central Montana where she found her love for trail work and living in the outdoors. She loves working in a field that focuses on the intersection of people and the environment and is thrilled to share her passion with TKO and explore the Pacific Northwest.
Karen grew up in North Carolina and spent her summers exploring Mt. Hood and the Gorge with her Oregonian grandparents. She studied environmental policy and English lit and worked as student coordinator for her school’s outdoors program in Washington. She’s done trail work with the Student Conservation Association and the USFS in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Josh is a native Oregonian who spent ten years in Austin, TX. He returned to Oregon with a new appreciation for the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. He’s spent the past year and a half volunteering with TKO and has developed a true passion for trail maintenance and construction.
Paul joined the board in 2014. He is a freelance writer, author, publisher, and tour guide. He has written for The Oregonian and Willamette Week, and more than 300 travel and food articles for the Memphis Flyer before moving to Oregon in 1996. Paul became board president in 2018.
Schuyler joined the board in 2016 shortly after returning to Oregon from Kentucky, where he worked for an environmental education non-profit and served on the board of an urban trails organization. An urban planner and landscape architect by training, he currently works as a planner. Schuyler became board treasurer in 2017 and board vice president in 2018.
Jaime joined up with the TKO board to further help in parks and natural areas planning and development, much of which she has first hand knowledge of leading in the Columbia River Gorge when she worked for Oregon State Parks. She also has planning and development of nature play areas, looking to engage youth in the outdoors.
Curtis serves on the board as Head Crew Leader for TKO and continues to lead projects for us, often focusing on the west side of the Metro region. He has spent hundreds of hours scouting and leading trail stewardship projects for our young organization.
Elaine Keavney joined the board in December 2016. She is a registered nurse who spent her clinical years primarily in the emergency department. Later, she became a nurse educator and worked both in clinical and online academic education, where she still works part time.
Vicente rose from part-time, seasonal parks ranger to his appointment in 2018 to lead the program as Portland Parks & Recreation’s Security and Emergency Manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies-psychology from Concordia University and is an accomplished author of a children’s book called My Nature Exploration. When he’s not working, he enjoys exploring Oregon with his wife Rachel, son Vicente II, and daughter Harper – on a trail or with a pair of binoculars as an avid hiker and bird watcher.
Megan Zabel Holmes
Megan joined the board in 2017. After growing up in Minnesota and attending college in Wisconsin, she headed west in 2005 and quickly fell in love with Oregon’s wild places. Megan is an avid hiker, photographer and forager who’s dreaming up ways to cultivate a love of the outdoors in her toddler daughter.
Ben joined the board in 2018. He is trained as a landscape architect and has worked for public agencies planning and constructing public recreation areas and trails in Oregon since 2012. He is currently a park planner in the Portland area.
Terry comes to us with many years hiking and climbing in the Pacific Northwest and is eager to continue his passion by joining TKO’s board. Terry has given time and energy through extensive volunteer work for the Mazamas, Albertina Kerr, the Stanford Alumni Association and OPB. Bringing an undergrad degree in Economics and masters degrees in Financial Services and Management, he’s also a Certified Financial Planner and wealth manager for a small firm in Portland.
Maegan joined the board in 2019. She is the Outreach Manager for Friends of the Columbia Gorge. A native Oregonian who grew up on a family farm, Maegan has had a deep connection to nature from an early age. Her passion is hiking amongst wildflowers and being an everyday steward of the wondrous natural beauty that surrounds us.
Tom is a founding member and past board president and has served in a variety of other board positions over the years in helping get TKO established. Tom grew up in Oregon and has been hiking since he learned to walk, thanks to an outdoors-oriented family life. He’s passionate about giving today’s young families the same amazing experiences he had growing up.
Send us a message to learn more about how you can help us advocate for Oregon’s trails. Or contact us at:
Trail Keepers of Oregon
P.O. Box 14814
Portland, Oregon 97293
TKO’s mission is accomplished through thoughtful relationships with passionate partners and supporters.