Friends of the Forest® Day

An annual tradition, the Friends of the Forest Day at Stevens Pass Ski Area on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest brought volunteers out to remove trash on the forest and slopes.

Aleta Eng, Partnership Specialist, and Tracy O’Toole, Public Affairs Officer of the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest provide a quick recap of a successful day at Stevens Pass Ski Area, 90 minutes from Seattle.

The fifth annual “Stevens Pass Friends of the Forest Day” took place on August 13, 2014 on the Skykomish Ranger District of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This year marked the fifth successful year of volunteers from the greater Puget Sound community coming together to help remove trash and other debris from the Stevens Pass Ski Recreation Area.

Despite the rain, which blanketed the ski slopes that morning, 59 volunteers turned out and were able to cover 300 acres in the area. The volunteers removed more than 1,100 pounds of trash.

We were not optimistic for a large volunteer turnout due to morning rains. As the 9:00 am start time approached, only one volunteer had checked in. Slowly but surely, additional volunteers trickled in. After a 9:30 welcome by the National Forest Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service, we had our first group of 20 hardy volunteers ready to go.

Stevens Pass Mountain Resort staff led the group onto the Tye Mill Chairlift to access the notorious winter hangout known as the “cave” and down the Skid Row slope. The next two groups of volunteers focused on removing trash underneath the Brooks Chairlift. After a wet but satisfying experience, volunteers were met with an amazing resort-sponsored lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, barbeque ribs, coleslaw, fruit, and popsicles.

In total nearly 60 volunteers joined us for the festivities, many sharing that they were going to participate rain or shine. Our youngest volunteer, Zoey, has participated each year since she was five years old. Now 10, she dodged in and out of the tree patches like a pro finding large stashes of garbage…all with the biggest smile on her face. See you next year Zoey!