Volunteers For Outdoor Washington
Our Mission Statement
“Volunteers for Outdoor Washington (VOW) promotes volunteer stewardship of natural resources, trails and other outdoor recreation resources throughout the State of Washington. VOW enables citizens and organizations to participate in trail and recreation development, rehabilitation projects, resource planning and education, and heritage preservation and interpretation. VOW maintains a working relationship with land management agencies to accomplish this end.”
Volunteers for Outdoor Washington (VOW) is a non-profit organization that recruits, organizes and trains volunteers to perform trail construction and maintenance and to restore natural habitat while preserving heritage features in Washington State.
Among VOW’s most high-profile projects are:
The Iron Goat Trail—which is being created from the old Great Northern Railroad route over Stevens Pass.
Robe Canyon Historic Park—along the Stillaguamish River near Granite Falls.
Bandera / Mason Lake Trail—VOW’s newest project near the Snoqualmie summit.
VOW brings managers of public lands – agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and county parks departments – together with volunteers to help create and maintain public access on those lands. This volunteer effort is ever more necessary as public agencies continue to grapple with budget cuts that have eliminated staff for trail work.
VOW is a member of the American Hiking Society and for several years has sponsored an American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation week on the Iron Goat Trail. VOW also sponsors and co-sponsors events to celebrate National Trails Day.
VOW was a pioneer in providing high-quality training for volunteers and other organizations that want to participate in the citizen effort to maintain trails. Its training programs are based on three organizational values: be safe, have fun, and perform work that meets professional standards. VOW has been a leader in promoting collaboration among organizations representing trail users of all types (e.g., backcountry bicyclists and horseback riders) to maximize their ability to take increased responsibility for public trails systems.
VOW is funded by contributions from Earth Share of Washington, membership dues,donations and grants. It is the ultimate ‘lean’ organization with most of its work – administrative and training activities as well as trail work – being performed by volunteers.