Over the course of 2019, TKO underwent an update to our 10-year plan and you can now view the content at the link below. Special thanks to our TKO board, volunteers and staff who helped bring together this powerful document that will help inform our work for the next decade!
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.
Brandon is an Ohio native who found his place in the Pacific Northwest. His passion for trails and stewardship was sparked while volunteering with the Main Appalachian Trail Club, then as an assistant crew leader. Volunteering on an organic farm brought him to the coast and he has since worked in landscaping, construction and fisheries. Brandon has spent the last two seasons as a Trail Crew Leader with Washington Trails Association.
An Oregon native, Josh cut his teeth on the woods of Mt. Hood and the waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge. He has spent the last three years engaged with TKO in various capacities including a season as the Gorge FS Trails Intern, and a season on the Forest Service Trail Crew in the Willamette National Forest. He’s excited to bring our brand of engaging and quality stewardship to the southern reaches of the Oregon Coast.
Stay tuned – new internship positions will be posted in February 2020 for 6-month positions across our Oregon stewardship initiatives!
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.
Claudio joined the board in January 2020. He’s a native Venezuelan where he spent his free time hiking and bushwhacking in the surrounding mountains of Caracas. After a 6 year hiking hiatus while he lived in Chicago, he moved to Portland and quickly fell in love with all the outdoor opportunities the state has to offer. He’s an avid hiker, backpacker and photographer who’s lead hundreds of hikes with one of Portland’s social hiking group.
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, park 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.
Kendra Manton joined the TKO board at the end of 2019. Kendra is a Portland native and grew up enjoying the wonders of the PNW. She spent 10 years teaching experiential education across the West and abroad. She happily returned to Portland 10 years ago to once again explore and now teach her own children what makes this part of the world so special. She spent the last 5 years working in communications for Oregon land trusts.
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.