Re: “Even in outdoors-obsessed Seattle, hiking got more popular during the pandemic” [June 13, Local News]:

FYI Guy’s column highlighted a great thing about our region — more people are hiking in Washington than ever before. With roughly 40% of Seattle-area adults taking a hike over the past year, the piece also showed the importance of expanding trail access to mitigate damage from increased use and make green space reachable for the remaining 60%.

We need only look toward innovative projects like Trust for Public Land’s recent acquisition adjacent to Cougar Mountain, which will include a new trailhead across from the Issaquah transit center, and efforts like the Jim Ellis Fund for Land Conservation that will leverage public and private investments to increase access to the outdoors while also respecting and protecting important ancestral lands and utilizing our natural areas to mitigate for climate change.

We’ve got more people hiking than ever before — let’s make sure we invest in new parks and trails to responsibly connect everyone to the outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

David Patton, Seattle, Trust for Public Land Northwest Director