The Umbrella Organization for the voice of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State.

The mission  of the Big Tent  is to promote sustainable, diverse, equitable, and inclusive outdoor experiences in Washington state through advocacy and education.

What we do:  The Big Tent advocates for sustainable state funding for recreation and conservation lands as well as sustainable and equitable development and human interaction with those lands.

Vision:  The Big Tent envisions a Washington where elected leaders, businesses, nonprofits, and residents are working together to create a more inclusive and equitable outdoor experience for all. We want to find ways to use outdoor recreation to fuel economic activity and sustain healthy outcomes in our communities.

#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches. [ LEARN MORE ]



We Represent Outdoor Recreation

The Great Outdoors Belongs to Everyone

The Seattle Times, (photo credits courtesy of José Reyes/Seattle Latino Hiking)

Cristina García didn’t grow up hiking or camping in her native Mexico, where the kind of robust public parks system that many Americans take for granted doesn’t exist. But once the co-founder of Seattle Latino Hiking spent time in nature, she knew there was no going back indoors. “When you’re up on the mountain you free yourself from stress, from worries. You even forget you have a ton of bills,” she laughed. “Taking a deep breath, looking at the beautiful scenery, there’s a feeling of accomplishment making it out there. Local groups such as Seattle Latino Hiking, Black People Hike and Outdoor Asian Washington are encouraging people of color to hit the trails, but they remain outliers.

Black Washingtonians face many barriers to experiencing the outdoors, state report says


Trina Baker didn’t grow up hiking, camping, or adventuring in the snow. However, as soon as she began walking outdoors with GirlTrek, a program designed to get Black women outdoors, Baker said she fell in love with nature. “Hiking has been my spiritual place,” Baker said at a Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission work session today in Ilwaco, Washington, near Cape Disappointment State Park. Now, Baker has made part of her mission to get other Black Washingtonians to head outdoors. A recent survey by the Black Washingtonians Workgroup on Outdoor Recreation found fewer than 1.5% of State Parks visitors are Black. Some barriers included safety concerns, a lack of access to transportation, and access to outdoor equipment, which can be expensive.

2022 National Trails Day® Community Grant Application Now Open

American Hiking

American Hiking, with support from the U.S. Forest Service, is proud to announce the first-of-its-kind National Trails Day® Community Grant. The grant is designed to reduce barriers for underrepresented communities to organize meaningful events in celebration of the 30th annual American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® on June 4, 2022.

State Parks appoints new agency director

Nationwide recruitment efforts lead to internal talent

OLYMPIA – March 16, 2022 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced today the appointment of Diana Dupuis as the agency’s new director. Dupuis will be the first female director since the agency was established more than 100 years ago. “Diana is a strategic leader with extensive experience in parks. She has dedicated more than 14 years to our agency,” said Parks Commission chairman, Mark O. Brown. “I am pleased to welcome Diana as the new director. She has a deep understanding of our agency, and I am confident that her expertise will help us achieve our goals.”

We Did It! WTA Celebrates Game-Changing Investments for Trails, Outdoors this Legislative Session

Washington Trails Association

The state legislative session has just come to an end, and WTA is excited to celebrate game-changing wins. With the help of hikers, partner advocates, and legislative champions like Rep. Cindy Ryu and Sen. T’wina Nobles, both WTA-led budget proposals were fully funded in the 2022 operating budget. This is a huge win for the outdoors and those who care for and recreate on public lands. WTA focused on two key goals this session: securing $15 million in annual funding ($5 million per agency) for maintenance needs on recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife and creating more opportunities in the outdoor recreation industry for underrepresented communities through a pilot program between WTA and Washington State Parks.

Seattle Kraken embrace Indigenous traditions, elevate Native voices

The Oregonian \ By Chris Aadland, Underscore.news and Indian Country Today

While other NHL franchises are also attempting to engage with Native American fans and tribal communities — including the dedication of game nights to Indigenous people — the Kraken have been taking more concrete steps toward engaging with the region’s tribal leaders and others in Indian Country to make them feel like they’re part of the team’s community and to amplify the voices of Indigenous people.

4th Annual Outdoor Economy Conference

Cherokee, NC April 4-7, 2022

The Outdoor Economy Conference connects, educates, and inspires leaders and doers working to grow the outdoor industry and craft an economy that’s intimately tied to the well-being of their places and communities. Outdoor CEOs, conservation leaders, federal agencies, local officials, state parks to local parks, economic developers to land managers… the Outdoor Economy Conference brings everyone to the table to focus on what matters.


The Mountaineers

Mountaineers are fierce defenders of our wild places. Dive deeper into what this entails, how to build your skills as an advocate, and why successful advocacy makes a difference for the outdoor places we love. Conservation advocacy has been an enduring priority throughout The Mountaineers history. Early members recognized the importance of protecting wild places for the outdoor experience, and as a result we have been involved in nearly every major conservation campaign in our state's history. Advocacy has been, and remains, at the heart of key environmental protections. 


Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

View the 2020 Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State for details