Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hiking In Kind

I like to put my money (and occasionally other people's money too-more on that to come) where my boots are. I support a handful of recreation and conservation groups that work on behalf of keeping our trails and parks open and in good shape; and in purchasing new lands for conservation and helping to protect the ones we have already secured. In addition to making monetary donations, I often give in kind donations to help out some of my favorite organizations. Through in kind donations I can often leverage more money for these groups than I can provide on my own.

Four groups that recently benefited from my in kind donations are the Skagit Land Trust, Columbia Land Trust, Washington Trails Association and the Washington National Parks Foundation. In three of these cases I put myself up for auction to personally guide folks on some of their favorite trails, In addition to receiving my hiking service  for the day, my publisher throws some books in too! For the Columbia Land Trust we extended the auction to allow other folks to buy a spot on the hike that I lead. We raised $1,000 on that hike! At the Skagit Land Trust auction, my hike secured $250; and for the Washington National Parks Fund, my hike brought in $400.
I also spend the day hiking with one of the winning groups in Washington Trails Association's annual Hike-a-Thon. And my 50 for 50 run last year raised $4,240 for WTA.

Collectively all of these events that I participate in raise some serious money for our trails and special places. WTA's Hike-a-Thon raised $67,000 in 2011. The Skagit Land Trust's 2012 auction brought in over $100,000. Washington National Parks Fund's recent auction raised $65,000 and the Columbia Land Trust's auction last year brought in an amazing $150,000! In these time of fiscal austerity, it is nice to see that folks are still generous and care enough to continue protecting our special places and leaving a natural legacy. I hope you too are finding ways to give back to your favorite trails, parks and wild places!

(Photo-A great day hiking the Weldon Wagon Road Trail and raising money for the Columbia Land Trust-photo courtesy of the Columbia Land Trust)


Linda W. said...

Thanks for your generosity. Your post is a good reminder for us hikers to not take our wonderful trail systems for granted.

Craig said...

Thanks Linda!