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Local volunteer wins national award

Tom Mix, co-owner of The Cutting Garden in Sequim, recently was selected as the winner of American Trails' national Trail Worker Award for Washington state for 2008.

Every two years American Trails presents the awards to recognize the contributions of volunteers, professionals and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans.

This award is intended to recognize the commitment and efforts of a private or public sector individual for his or her successful efforts to influence policy, develop trails, and maintain and protect existing trails. One award is given per state. American Trails received more than 200 nominations for the awards and Mix was chosen as the winner for Washington state.

Mix is a volunteer who works with almost every public agency on the Olympic Peninsula to construct and maintain trails, plan trail work and recommend trail use and policy changes. A retired Boeing executive, he has left the corporate world and has taken up the chain saw and chaps as his new work gear. With heavy storm damage during the past two winters, Mix has played a key role in opening up national park and forest service trails. These federal agencies require certification for chain saw operation and Mix has worked through these certifications in order to assist in keeping open the more than 600 miles of trail in Olympic National Park and another 270 miles of trails in Olympic National Forest.

For Clallam County Parks, Mix works on a volunteer crew called the Thursday Trail Crew. He has been a member since the crew was started in January 2005. The crew was formed primarily to construct a new county trail called the Adventure Route, a 24-mile-long multi-user trail.

Mix also helps the Peninsula Trails Coalition, a local trails advocacy group. He helps it raise money to feed trail volunteers by working as the master of ceremonies for a slide show series. He also recently took the lead in making awards plaques for a group of volunteers who were refurbishing a railroad trestle for use on the Olympic Discovery Trail, a local rails-to-trails facility. He also helps mow and cut out downed trees on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Information submitted by Lorrie Campbell, volunteer coordinator, Olympic Discovery Trail.

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