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

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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

Latest News

Safety, Fun, Service – becoming a TKO Crew Leader

A close up of two faces. One person wears a blue jacket and a yellow hat, the other wears a yellow jacket and an orange hat. They both have dirt on their faces and are smiling.

Being a Crew Leader with TKO is rewarding work and comes with a fun and supportive community that can’t wait to welcome you!

by Elaine Keavney and Loren Payne

So you’ve earned your green hat, and are getting “hooked” on trail stewardship.  As you get to know your crew leaders, do you find yourself wondering whether leading a crew would be something you would enjoy? Read on for some information about leading crews, and what you need to do if you would like to become a TKO crew leader!

[…]

Fire and Rain – 2022 Tread School

A photo of people in hard hats using straps to carry a burned log through a burned forest. Over this image are the words Tread School - Fire Recovery Edition

Rebuilding trails from the ashes.

By Natalie Ferraro

With over an inch of rain pouring down from cloudy skies for the weekend, it was hard to believe that the forest that volunteers worked and trained in during Tread School 2022 had been the victim of dry weather, extreme winds and raging fires only two years earlier. A group of Trailkeeper volunteers were undaunted by the ‘atmospheric river’ and showed up at Camp Talaoli anyway. These hardy folks were here to learn the skills needed to repair hiking trails after wildfires, and to start  rebuilding trails damaged by the Beachie Creek Fire.

[…]

Increasing Our Impact by Lending a Hand

Two people in hard hats work on their knees to install a piece of decking on a bardwalk.

TKO volunteers helped to build a new boardwalk at the South Slough Estuary Reserve this summer.

By Katie Vaughan, TKO Board Member

Throughout 2022, TKO crews set out on the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor—a 12-mile stretch of picturesque southern Oregon coastline—over 20 times, helping to recover areas lost to vegetation and time. Now, thanks to these efforts, you can have a picnic at Whaleshead Beach, hike from Natural Bridges to Spruce Island uninterrupted, or explore the Thunder Rock Cove Loop! […]

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