Get Out in the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area This Summer

As Washingtonians are making plans to visit the state’s beautiful national parks and other recreation areas this summer, they should also take note of all the fun events and ways to connect with their local National Heritage Area.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area (Greenway NHA) is a unique geographic corridor made up of connected ecosystems and communities spanning 1.5 million acres from Seattle to Ellensburg along Interstate-90.

National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. There are more than 60 NHAs across the country and just three on the west coast – two of which are right here in Washington state: the Maritime Washington NHA and the Greenway NHA.

 “NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage,” said Jon Hoekstra, executive director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, the coordinating entity for the Greenway NHA. “These are lived-in landscapes where our heritage remains alive, vibrant, and relevant. We invite residents and visitors alike to spend time getting to know this incredible landscape on a deeper level, to really appreciate its rich and layered history, and take part in shaping its future.”

 There’s something for everyone to learn and discover in the Greenway NHA this summer. Upcoming events include floating through basalt canyons on the Yakima River; biking through the historic Snoqualmie Tunnel; hiking along a Wild and Scenic River; learning about geology and birds in the Teanaway Community Forest; volunteering to help care for local trails and green spaces; and more.

Those interested in learning more about the Greenway NHA and the nonprofit organization behind it can head to Lake Sammamish State Park on May 20 for the Greenway Trust Spring Breakfast. Attendees will enjoy breakfast in the park, hear from inspiring speakers, including Congresswoman Kim Schrier, and then head out on immersive experiences that will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the organization’s conservation mission in action.

These hands-on activities include options such as bird watching, a guided hike to learn about trail work at Teneriffe Falls, a tour of restoration work in Issaquah Creek, and an environmental education experience for youth. This event is a great opportunity to kick off summer, connect with other community members, support a local nonprofit, and learn about ways to get involved in the Greenway NHA.

 As summer gets into full swing, several additional events will take place throughout the Greenway NHA, including a volunteer event for National Trails Day on June 3, a Yakima River Float on June 17, a Snoqualmie Tunnel Bike Ride on August 5, and a day of guided hikes on September 9. Check out the Greenway Trust events calendar for the full summer lineup, including more information and sign-up details.

 Want to stay in the know about future news and events in the Greenway NHA? Sign up for the organization’s e-newsletter for all the latest information.

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