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12 » WTA at Work

January + February 2010 » Washington Trails


Trail Maintenance »

The Crosscut Saw Club

A little recognition for volunteers who have gone above and beyond and then some

Five days of volunteer trail work is a big commitment. WTA issues a Personalized Hard Hat to the volunteers who have made this com- mitment as a way of saying both “thanks” and “please come back” in the same breath. In 2009, WTA issued over 200 of these green hard hats.

Volunteers who have joined 25 work parties are given a Trail Crew Vest, embroidered with the WTA logo. With these vests, we’re helping our volunteers stay warm while they work and encouraging them to serve as ambassadors on and off the trail.

Volunteers who reach the milestone of fifty days on trail are presented with a mono- grammed Corona pruning saw. (Here again, we’re a bit self-serving in our choice of gifts. After all, you’ll have to come out and volunteer again if you are so well equipped, right?) Folks in this select category are known as our Trail Crew Saw stewards.

Until recently, there were no more tangible rewards or intangible award categories beyond the Trail Crew Saw. As we looked at the grow- ing list of volunteers who had far-surpassed any incentives, two new categories of recogni- tion just had to be created. WTA is proud to introduce our Full Bench Club and the Crosscut Saw Club.

Together, the four individuals we have just inducted into the Crosscut Saw Club have contributed a total of 3,725 days on trail. That is more than ten years of trail work (and sure to be more by the time you read this!). I hope you enjoy reading their profiles as much as I have enjoyed working with them. Please note that all of the totals listed are as of press date and sure to have gone up by the time you read this.

Mike Owens started as a volunteer with WTA eleven years ago and is now an invaluable employee, acting as the organization’s year- round chief crew leader. While Mike is now a paid staff member, he continues to volunteer one of the four days he spends out on the trail each week. Many of WTA’s volunteers have had Mike as their crew leader on their very first work party, and he’s the reason why many of them returned for another day. Mike has led more than 1,500 work parties.

It is quite probable that Mike has introduced more folks to trail maintenance than any other person in the United States, past or present! Mike always does a stellar job. He is a true strength for this organization. We’d like to thank Mike for all of his efforts over the years, including his 1,750 days on trail and the many more that are sure to follow.

Alyssa Kreider

The Full Bench Club recognizes volunteers who have spent 250 or more days on trail. In trail terminology, full bench refers to a type of construction in which the full width of the tread is cut into the hillside. Though it is more difficult to build initially, it is the pre- ferred choice of trail professionals because it is more durable in the long run. Likewise, our regular volunteers have done more than just build trails. They have helped us to continually improve our trail maintenance program and to create a firm foundation for our future work.

Volunteer Coordinator alyssa@wta.org

For a complete list of recent honorees, see Page 14.

Our Crosscut Saw Club recognizes volun- teers with 500 or more days on trail. These volunteers (just four so far) represent the upper echelon of WTA’s trail maintenance Hall of Fame. They possess both WTA history and trail skill and have given above and beyond any imaginable expectations.

Mike Owens

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