DNR’s recreation staff give thanks

Laurie Bergvall, Chris Robertson, and David Way pose in front of the new Reiter Foothills trail kiosk. Many staff expressed being grateful to the volunteers, staff, and dedicated user support that made it possible to build a sustainable trail system at Reiter Foothills. Photo: Jessica Payne, DNR

What are you grateful for?

This simple question was posed to many Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff, and the responses came flooding in. DNR will post these responses on their Facebook page.

DNR has a small, but dedicated, staff devoted to recreation. There are 36 full-time staff members that help to make your recreation experience safe and enjoyable. The DNR team includes planners who lay out and design sustainable trail systems, engineers who design safe bridges, recreation managers who ensure your experience is up to DNR standards, and volunteer coordinators who help organize work parties and write grant applications.

Curious about what they are thankful for? Below are some of the responses:

“I am truly thankful for the wonderful staff in NW Region and DNR who work so hard – working collaboratively with volunteers, citizen groups, and each other to provide an amazing variety of experiences for the recreating public.  As I get more exposure to the recreation program, I continue to be amazed at what our staff gets done with limited resources & budgets and in short timelines.  Their dedication, knowledge, and expertise in their field is top-notch!  And their positive, “let’s get it done” attitudes are truly an inspiration to me – I feel very grateful I have the opportunity to work with each one of the recreation staff.”

-Laurie Bergvall, State Lands Assistant Region Manager

“I’m thankful to all the regions that participate in the Road Access Entry Program for people with disabilities. Without them, these hunters would not be able to enjoy the great outdoors with their families and friends.”

-Heidi Stephens, Hunting Access Program Coordinator

“I’m thankful for all the hours of hard work provided by our committed volunteers and their letters of support for our grant applications this year!  We couldn’t do it without them!”

-Jim Cahill, Recreation Manager

Volunteers with the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) laugh as they unwind from a day of building trails. Kirk Thomas mentioned that he is thankful for the work being done by the young adults that are the next generation of leaders and environmental stewards. Photo: Jessica Payne, DNR

“I am thankful after four years in the planning and development that we have motorcycle and 4×4 trails constructed at Reiter.”

-Mark Mauren, Recreation Program Manager

“I am so grateful to all the citizens who have dedicated their time to help guide recreation planning on DNR lands. People across the state have participated on citizen planning committees in six major planning efforts.”

-Diana Lofflin, Recreation Communications Manager

“I am grateful for the great working relationship and communication with the Elbe State Lands Group.  This allows us to integrate recreation with state land activity planning and keeps our user groups informed on upcoming impacts to trails and facilities.”

Nancy Barker, Recreation Manager in Elbe State Forest

“I am thankful that much of the on-the-ground work being done to conserve and enhance our natural resources and recreation opportunities is being done by the young adults that are the next generation of leaders and environmental stewards.”

Kirk Thomas, Field Operations Coordinator

“I am thankful for the Department’s dedication to the implementation of the Reiter Foothills Plan. With limited staff to plan, coordinate, and implement such an extensive undertaking, we continue to accomplish key milestones.  This project is a great example of the Department’s ongoing commitment to balance the demands of the recreation community and the trust land stewardship obligations.”

David Way, Reiter Foothills Recreation Manager

It is the time of year time for all of us to give thanks for all that we have including having access to beautiful landscapes across the state.

What are you thankful for? Let us know on our Facebook page.

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