Volunteers sought to enhance visitor experience at Washington trailheads


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News release

Erin Browning
Media contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is looking for volunteers, as part of a new Trailhead Ambassador program, in partnership with the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. 

These volunteers help welcome visitors at popular points of entry to WDFW-managed lands, provide information about wildlife areas, and raise awareness of how to Recreate Responsibly on public lands.

The program kicked off in early April and runs through June at three sites in the Methow Wildlife Area: Lewis ButteBig Valley, and Pipestone. Programming will start in June at Joe Watt Canyon on the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area and Manastash at the Wenas Wildlife Area and continue through September and October, respectively. Trailhead ambassadors will be present every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during program months. 

“We’re so proud to partner with these communities to offer this opportunity to engage Washingtonians directly in public land restoration,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW lands division manager. “Not only will volunteers be helping to make WDFW-managed trailheads more welcoming, they’ll also be supporting visitors in enjoying safe, meaningful experiences while helping to protect natural resources.” 

The pilot program is part of WDFW’s recently published 10-Year Recreation Strategy for WDFW-managed Lands, which aims to improve visitor experiences and reduce recreation impacts. Land managers noted that this pilot program also follows a dramatic increase in the number of visitors to WDFW-managed lands, including many people who have recently discovered the joys of recreation and have less experience in the outdoors. 

Interested volunteers can visit the WDFW website to learn more. If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador at any of the Methow Wildlife Area locations, visit the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative website. To volunteer to become an ambassador at the Manastash or Joe Watt Canyon locations, visit the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust website.

All members of the public are invited to participate in WDFW opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.

WDFW manages more than a million acres of land and hundreds of water access areas throughout the state. By actively managing lands, restoring habitats, and preserving wild places, the Department serves as stewards for Washington’s natural places, protecting the state’s land and water for wildlife and people.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is a coalition-based organization that leads and inspires action to conserve and enhance the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area between Seattle and Ellensburg, ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature. The Greenway will be managing WDFW’s Manastash and Joe Watt locations. 

The Methow Valley Trails Collaborative builds and strengthens relationships among trail managers, advocates, and user groups to support and enhance sustainable trail experiences in the Methow Valley. MVTC will be managing WDFW’s Lewis Butte, Pipestone, and Big Valley locations.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.