WEEK 3: ELOWAH FALLS & SILVER FALLS

First 100 donors receive an Stumptown Coffee Card

$30+ donations also get entered to win a Stumptown Camp Brew Kit & Coffee

DONATE

Drawing of the Stumptown Camp Brew Kit will be done at TKO’s Builders Keepers event at Dig A Pony Bar, 5-8PM. Come join us for a special evening of rubbing elbows with all of our supporters! (attendance not a requirement to win)

TKO BUILDERS KEEPERS HIKE & SOCIAL 12/1

Can’t give $? Volunteer at the TKO + Stumptown trail party and be entered to win Stumptown Camp Brewkit..

TKO + STUMPTOWN TRAIL PARTY 11/20

Care for our connections to Oregon’s scenic sites.

Waterfalls throughout our landscape are as iconic as the Douglas fir tree. We celebrate them with great fanfare as a quintessential outdoor highlight to be sought after, connected to and protected. When the Eagle Creek fire swept through the waterfall corridor of the Columbia River Gorge, it was a moment that swept our breath away and we all wondered when we’d be able to see those falling waters once again. In the meantime, the waterfall destinations elsewhere in the state saw an even greater visitation. Trails connecting to these scenic sites are in constant need of keepers to tend to their care.

Elowah Falls, at John B. Yeon State Recreation Corridor is part of a waterfall hunter’s punch card. Gorge Trail #400 and other connective trails were closed due to the fire. Elowah Falls is still closed, testament to the damage incurred and the fragility of the Columbia Gorge landscape. So much natural beauty, unique ecosystems and historical marvels are at play,  we’ve steadily stacked thousands of rocks to build back this trail. 2020 will see this trail possibly open due in no small part to our TKO Rock Team of volunteers. Turning our sites to the central valley, Silver Falls State Park is the flagship of the Oregon State Parks system and a waterfall alley all on its own. We’ve just started in there and we are seeking the support to keep on keeping.

SUCCESS:

ELOWAH & SILVER FALLS

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Feet of Trails Improved

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Stewardship Events

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Volunteer Participants

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In Kind Value of Volunteer Time

THE COLUMBIA GORGE:

A BIG PILE OF ROCKS!

The Eagle Creek fire burned away the carpet of moss that acted as the glue holding in place endless hills of rocks that ultimate make up the landscape. At Elowah Falls, other Gorge Trail #400 segments and connective trails, scree zones were exposed and rock slides occurred. Meanwhile, an era of trail building from the 1930s was revealed. Out of necessity, a mighty force of trail builders honed skills in dry rock stacking. A number of trails are cleaned up, but the fragility of this place will likely see more rocks spill over our trails. Somebody needs to stack them up again, that’s where we can help.

TKO + STUMPTOWN TRAIL PARTY 11/20 @ ELOWAH FALLS

SILVER FALLS

BUILDING TRUST & MORE CREW LEADERS

TKO has been a nonprofit for just over 12 years. We are Portland-based, but that is now changing and we are growing our geographic reach. Oregon State Parks has been a gateway for our growth, taking our strong partnerships with parks in the Portland/Gorge region and letting that trust spread to other parks. With strong relationships to precede us, stewardship growth can only happen through recruiting and training more volunteer leaders. The only reason we are able to start in at Silver Falls is because local leaders stepped up to the challenge. TKO’s strong relationships with park staff confident in our work. TKO has established a leadership training series, next class is this week! Join us to do more for trails.

TKO LEADERSHIP LAB - 11/23 @ TILLAMOOK FOREST CENTER

Latest News

Trail Ambassador Season Wrap-Up

Dear Ambassadors,

Congratulations on the 2020 season! With challenges seemingly around every corner, it was certainly not an easy road, but we still accomplished some big things. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you who participated this year, either by signing up for a volunteer shift or by just staying in the loop by being on the email list.

We kicked off the season by collaborating on and premiering the first online Trail Ambassador Training. A big shout out to the volunteers who helped to design and give feedback on the training, and to those who contributed their voices. Thanks to the online training, we were able to overcome the ban on public gatherings and had over 30 volunteers gear up to be ambassadors, with about 50% of those folks being new to the program this year. 

Even though the pandemic ultimately meant we were limited to only four open trailheads, those of you who went out had a big impact. Huge thank you to the volunteers who got out there and set up their physically distanced Ambassador stations in the face of uncertain trail openings, and an unprecedented amount of use on public lands this summer. You answered questions for over 200 hikers, helped to normalize mask wearing on the trail, and provided valuable on-the-ground feedback for land managers. 

It’s been exciting to see so many of you get involved with the new On-trail Ambassador program that we recently debuted. By eliminating the need for public interaction, we hope this will provide an opportunity for more folks to be active in the program during what continues to be a challenging year. We decided to offer this volunteer opportunity year round, in the hopes that it will prove to be a useful feedback tool for land managers and a great way for you to stay active as an Ambassador through the rainy portion of the hiking season.

This year saw the Trail Ambassador program emerge as a network capable of innovation, flexibility and teamwork. We forged new relationships with our sister programs in Washington state, on the Oregon Coast, and with our friends in the River Ambassador program. Through this network of collaboration, volunteers were able to get out to trails and beaches on the North Coast, our volunteer training was able to be more inclusive, and we helped advise a fledgling Ambassador program near Seattle. We showed just how powerful the network model can be, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish next year. 

In a year where many things were uncertain, you kept the heart of this program beating. No matter what the next year brings, I look forward to continuing the good work of this program with a stellar group of volunteers, stakeholders and partners. Thank you for your dedication to the program and to Oregon’s trails.

 

Natalie Ferraro | Engagement Manager

natalie.ferraro@trailkeepersoforegon.org

 

Interview with a Volunteer – Claudio

 

A photo of Crew Leader Claudio Berstein

Crew Leader Claudio Berstein

Bringing the Trail Crew to you! This is a continuation of our “Interview with a Volunteer” series that we’ll be using to bring the fun of being a Trailkeeper to you while you stay safe at home. […]

Hiking in Virtual Time

By Tom Kloster

After the Eagle Creek Fire in September 2017, I know I was not alone in
sorting through photos and trip reports from before the fire. While it has
taken time for all of us to absorb the changes the fire brought to the Gorge,
seeing old photos of our favorite places from years passed was a needed
escape. […]

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