WEEK 3: Bring back trails from wind & fire

Ask any Crew Leader and they’ll tell you that the most important trail tool is a solid pair of comfortable boots. We’ve got TEN pairs from KEEN to give away this week!

We’re excited to announce that TKO is working with KEEN to create a first-of-its-kind boot scholarship fund for folks who want to volunteer but dont have the right footwear. This program will debut in 2022. You can help make make it a success by supporting TKO today.

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Bring Oregon’s Trails Back from Fire & Wind

Thousands of acres of public land and trails were closed last year after the devastating Beachie Creek Fire. After everything TKO learned from recovering trails in the Columbia River Gorge after the Eagle Creek Fire, we knew we had to help. A spring internship program, working with land managers on in-depth trail assessment and recovery plans, and ongoing volunteer events are just a few of the ways we are and will continue to give back.

But we can’t do it with out support from donors like you who provide us with the resources that make this work possible. TKO’s volunteers are eager to tackle the huge amount of work thats waiting for us in the Santiam Sate Forest and beyond. 

BY THE NUMBERS:

FIRE AFFECTED TRAILS

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Feet of Trail Improved

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# of Trail Parties

0

Volunteer Participants

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In Kind Value of Volunteer Time

Learning by Doing

We know from experience that the best way to teach someone a skill is to get a tool in their hands and let them experience the process for themselves. This happened to TKO as an organization as we embraced our role as a recovery partner after the Eagle Creek Fire. This philosophy has since been built into everything we do.

Fire recovery takes dedicated and persistent focus. After finding success piloting an internship position dedicated to recovering trails in the Gorge, we knew that this approach was a perfect fit for the trails that had been swept up in the Beachie Creek Fire. We collaborated with Northwest Youth Corps to support not just one but three internship positions dedicated to trails in the Santiam State Forest. Their work during the spring helped lay the ground work for community volunteers to come in and keep drumming the beat of fire recovery stewardship!

Join the Legacy

The past few years have seen record damage to trails from wildfire and wind storms across the state. From southern Oregon to the central coast to the Willamette National forest, these events left behind a lot of work to be done.

TKO has been here before. Here is where we know we can step up:

  • Building a transformed leader to provide a safe, equitable and inclusive outdoor space – A TKO Crew Leader is a special volunteer type, learning how to provide safe and welcoming experiences requires training and support. TKO is building a leadership pipeline that is making stewardship safe and fun for all!
  • Foundational skills to catch the trail bug – Building and maintaining trails is fun and satisfying when you know how to solve the problems that you find. It takes some practice, and we have a learning laboratory for building those skills.
  • Technical skills for volunteer and professionals – Anyone can be a Trailkeeper. Knowing how to tackle technical trail problems like sawing a jackstrawed mess of windblown trees, battering a rock wall to stand the test of time or stringing logs for a timber bridge? Learn by doing with TKO.

The surge of community support and involvement after the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017 is where many of the current TKO Crew Leaders got their start. We have used what we learned from those experiences of bring trails back from the ashes to build a cohort of skilled volunteers across the state. We have been working tirelessly for the last three years to build a training program for trail steward volunteers to be ready to tackle any trail issues that arise, including fire impacts.

Join the Legacy

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Want to add trail volunteer to your many talents, but curious to know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign up? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for some helpful info on what to expect during your first trail party, as well as some tips from fellow first-time Trailkeepers.

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To the south of the jutting Cascade Headland and nestled against the Salmon River, Camp Westwind makes up part of the 102,110 acre Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve. Originally dedicated in 1976 by the United Nations (UNESCO), such reserves serve to attain quality education for all, mobilize knowledge for sustainable development, and build an inclusive knowledge society. 

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