Lunney Named Adventurer of 2009
WTA's Executive Director honored by The News Tribune.
Last week, The News Tribune announced its Adventurers of 2009, a short list that included WTA's executive director, Elizabeth Lunney.
As one might expect, local mountaineering legends like Dave Hahn appear on the list, but the paper gave as much or more attention to people who, like Elizabeth, have drawn concerned citizens together to protect the natural resources that we all enjoy. They granted this distinction to Elizabeth in recognition of the decade she has led the Washington Trails Association, a period during which WTA has doubled its membership base, grown its trail maintenance program from hundreds of hours annually to nearly a hundred thousand hours annually and won hard fought legislative battles to increase trail funding.
The New Tribune's mention is not the only media attention that Lunney has earned. Backpacker magazine recently featured her as a West Coast region hiking authority. Puget Sound Business Journal named her among their "40 Under 40" in 2006. She's frequently quoted in both local and national media when the story concerns hiking.
But, then again, you don't see Elizabeth in the news all that often, a fact that has less to do with her worthiness (quite high) and more to do her with her modesty (also quite high).
Even in the brief write-up crafted by the News Tribune, you can see that Elizabeth is quick to deflect the attention away from herself, as she notes the contributions of other WTA leaders with whom she's worked and praises the scores of trail volunteers and hikers who make WTA what it is.
As with so many news stories, though you may be getting the essence, you're never going to get all the details. And, it seems that the closer you are to the story, the more you know that is just not there.
For instance, she's commended by the Tribune for her work at WTA, but I know that Elizabeth's service to the hiking community extends far beyond the walls of the WTA office. She's served on the board of several organizations, including the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, EarthShare Washington and the American Hiking Society, and helped to coordinate several Washington State Trails Conferences.
As WTA seeks its next executive director, we've been reflecting on all that WTA has achieved under Elizabeth's leadership. The News Tribune's selection of Elizabeth as an Adventurer of the Year shows that others have taken notice, too.
If you have been on an adventure with Elizabeth or have worked with her and know her leadership and dedication, please share your story here!