A Trail for All to Enjoy

June 5, 2020

Since his tragic death, we have mourned the loss of George Floyd. His killing reminds us of the depth of racism and injustice in our country and in our state. It saddens us and, frankly, maddens us.  

A mural in honor of George Floyd by artists Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez. Photo by Lorie Shaull.

We cannot ignore the pain and suffering that has been on display over the past week. In that time, we have come together to discuss and reflect on how our Trail and our Association can play a role in healing and dismantling the racism that lives so close to our footpath. 

The core of the SHT experience is connection — with people, history, nature, and one’s self. The Trail provides a spiritual recharge that keeps people coming back year after year; it has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of visitors over several decades. However, we recognize that the history of racism in our country, and the structures that maintain it today, serve as barriers that prevent communities of color from enjoying the Trail and the outdoors generally. The SHT remains open to all, but we all must begin to listen, learn, and strive for inclusion to ensure everybody feels welcome to enjoy it and find the connection that is so healing. 

The SHTA is committed to taking meaningful action to make sure the Trail is a safe and inclusive space for all, whether it’s at our events, on the Trail, or in our online community. We’ve built bridges over rivers and cleared dense forest to make way for the Trail. We are committed to doing the same for a fairer society. 

Yet, we cannot make positive change alone, and we know that our Trail is but one narrow path through a much greater outdoors. We ask that you join us in aspiring towards a more inclusive and welcoming experience on the Trail. Your thoughts and ideas to help us move forward are welcomed.

With hope,

The SHTA Team