Announcing the 2019 Trail Ranger Team!

Meet beth, Rebecca, Gabriel, Blake and Matthew! The Trail Rangers are all about providing a consistent and helpful presence on DC’s mixed-use paved trails. We help trail users, engage with trailside neighborhoods, improve trail conditions, and work with city agencies to keep the trails clean, bright, and clear of obstacles.

Keep an eye out for them on the Marvin Gaye, Anacostia River, Suitland Parkway and Metropolitan Branch Trails (Click here to see where these awesome trails are!).

beth
Rebecca
Gabriel
Blake
Matthew

Favorite snack?

“This is a tough question…I love hummus, vegan cheese, and avocados with crackers. I also love a handful of trail mix – without chocolate – don’t’ get me wrong I love chocolate – just not in trail mix. :)” – beth

“Marzipan Chocolate!” – Blake

“Any snacks with dark chocolate!” – Gabriel

Cheese and crackers – Matthew

“Key lime pie” – Rebecca

What is your bike story – how did you start and what has the journey been?

“I started biking in San Diego when a friend of mine encouraged me to ride. I was reluctant (it had been years!) and a little wobbly at first but then I felt like a kid again. I bought a bike and started riding to work and the beach. When I loved out of San Diego and back to my hometown, I left my car in the driveway and rode my bike everywhere. When I got married we decided to honeymoon by biking across the country. We arrived in DC in November 2015 and have been biking in DC since.”  – beth

“I started biking at a young age riding BMX bikes with my brother and friends around town. My first job was a bike mechanic at 16 year old. As i got older, I eventually progressed to mountain and road bikes. It’s been a non-stop addiction!” – Blake

“After tricycle, I got a long and shiny banana seat and role like “Bajito y Suavecito.” – Gabriel

“I learned to bike a long time ago but I never regularly biked anywhere in the city until I bought my first $40 Flying Pigeon bike while living in Beijing. I loved biking in the city – there were protected bike lanes even before America had them! When I moved back to DC after China, I was determined to continue biking. I’ve since lived without a car, relying on my two legs or my bike to get around DC, and I love it so much! I’ll never go back to driving!” – Matthew

“Have been biking since a kid. Always enjoyed roller blading, skateboarding and scottergin etc. But biking on trails and long distance was always my favorite.” – Rebecca

Favorite thing about biking?

“My favorite thing about biking…I get there faster. When I need to get across the city it is likely to be faster by bike then public transportation, personal vehicle, or ride share.”  – beth

“The freedom cycling provides. Cycling allows you to explore cities and parks at a relaxed pace with a 1st class view. Traffic and parking is never a problem! It also allows you to see places that you otherwise never would in a car.” – Blake

“Get going without having my feet on the ground.” – Gabriel

“I feel so free! There’s just something about knowing that I can hop onto this machine and go anywhere with my own body. And when I’m on a trail in the middle of a forest, it feels so great to exercise and connect to nature!” – Matthew

“Outdoors” – Rebecca

What are you excited to do as a Trail Ranger this summer?

“I’m excited to be outside on a bike. I’m excited to get a little dirty while clearing vegetation. I’m excited to see the trail that I’m less familiar with.”  – beth

“I’m excited about being outdoors a lot and helping improve cycling conditions in the greater Washington DC area!” – Blake

“Team up with Trail Rangers of diverse backgrounds and interact with the communities of all DC!!!” – Gabriel

“I’m excited to meet new people and show them how awesome our trails are. I can’t wait to get out there and make sure our trails are safe and enjoyable for everyone. Bring on the summer heat!” – Matthew

“Expand my knowledge about the trails.” – Rebecca

Working hard on the MBT!
Stop by for Trail Ranger Coffee Hour on Friday mornings!

Tales and Trails: Trail History of Anacostia Park

Why was Anacostia Park home to thousands of people when the Bonus Army was in town? Who participated in the Pearl escape attempt in 1848? Learn more about Anacostia Park with National Park Service and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association on three FREE guided history rides this summer:

May 26th – The Parks of Capitol Hill

10 AM – 1 PM
Lincoln Park at the Emancipation Statue
ASL interpreted

More details and required registration here.

June 30 – The Bonus Army

10 AM – 1 PM
Anacostia Dr and Good Hope Rd SE
ASL interpreted

More details and required registration here.

August 31st – The History of Anacostia Park

10 AM – 1 pm
Anacostia Dr and Good Hope Rd SE

More details and required registration here.

Suitland Parkway Trail Spring Cleanup

Spring cleanup on the trail! WABA, Martha’s Table, Ward 8 Woods and DC Trash Cycle are joining forces to get the Suitland Parkway Trail back into usable shape after a winter’s worth of trash and debris accumulation.

We’ll bring the trash grabbers, rakes, and pruners needed to remove trash and vegetation from the trail. Please bring a water bottle, closed toed shoes and weather appropriate clothes.

Anacostia River Festival Art Night

Photo Credit: Project Create

It’s craft night at the WABA HQ again! We’re teaming up with Project Create DC to host an art night – we’ll be making nature inspired DC flags for the Anacostia River Festival. You can make a flag for yourself (or your bike!) or make a few for Project Create to share at the festival and decorate the bike parade. Join us for 30 minutes or the whole time, make some great friends and a fun flag!

We’ll have all the materials for the flags. This is a kid friendly activity.

Sign up below!

Thanks to our partner, Project Create, for helping put on this event!

Be a trail superstar, come join the Trail Ranger Team!

Ever wanted people to enthusiastically shout, “Thank you, you’re awesome!” to you on the job? Feel like a trail celebrity? (actual quote from a former Trail Ranger) Be part of a dynamic team of outreach trail champions? Get to directly improve your community through events and maintenance? Be paid to be outside on your bike for five months?

If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, consider applying to be DC’s trail superstars as part of our seventh annual Trail Ranger team. We have a whole host of plans lined up for this season and we are looking for a team. More information and the job description can be found here. Applications are due March 3rd 2019 though candidates are strongly encouraged to apply earlier.

We’re Hiring: Part-Time DC Trail Rangers

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for five passionate and energetic professional trail champions with a wide diversity of skills for our 2019 Trail Ranger Team to serve trails and the people who use them throughout the District of Columbia. Now in our seventh season, the Trail Ranger program is a beloved presence on our local trails and has a strong reputation as a great working environment with high job satisfaction.

Ready to join us on the trails in 2019?

WABA’s Trail Ranger program encourages trail use through daily trail presence, improved upkeep, trail user assistance and community engagement. Reporting to our Trail Ranger Coordinator, Trail Rangers roam nearly 24 miles of trails within the District by bicycle. Trails included in the program are the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Anacostia River Trail, Suitland Parkway Trail, Marvin Gaye Trail, and connecting street routes. Trail Rangers act as trail ambassadors, offering a consistent and friendly presence April through September to make the trails more approachable, enjoyable, and dependable for transportation and recreation.

Intangible benefits include: working outside on those perfect spring days, getting to know your city better through talking with neighbors, and profuse appreciation from fellow trail users.

The Trail Ranger season begins April 17th and ends on September 30th, 2019. Pay will be $16 per hour for Trail Rangers, and $17 per hour for Lead Trail Rangers. WABA announces shift schedules in well in advance and there is flexibility for time off, allowing part-time employees to fulfill other obligations.

You can learn more about the Trail Ranger program here.

Roles & Responsibilities

You will:

  • Spend the majority of your work hours outside, biking on or between trails.
  • Work in shifts with a partner riding bikes at a relaxed, conversational pace on an 8 hour shift.
  • Collaborate with team members to determine daily priorities and share program information.
  • Support and encourage trail use with friendly and helpful trail presence, regular maintenance efforts and consistent outreach events, including:
    • Morning coffee outreach.
    • Trail rides.
    • Activity days with local organizations.
  • Help lower barriers to bicycling, build community, and build a more robust trail network.
    • Develop and maintain relationships with regular trail users and community members.
    • Bring new users to the trail through community outreach and engagement.
    • Individual conversations with trail neighbors and community groups.
  • Run cleanups and community events with the program coordinator.
  • Manage volunteers joining the team at events and on daily shifts.
  • Perform inspections of trail conditions and maintenance of trail corridors including pruning branches, gathering trash, removing obstructions and clearing debris.
  • Make regular reports on daily trail conditions, needs, and trends.
  • Work with the program coordinator and city agencies to respond to recurring or major trail maintenance issues.
  • Be outside in all weather, with the exemption of thunderstorms and other hazardous conditions.
  • Each team member will be individually responsible for an operational project, including: team bike maintenance, tools maintenance, and shift supplies.
  • Learn about the trails, and neighborhoods served by the trails.
  • Assist at other WABA events as needed.

Requirements

Candidates must have:

  • A proven track record for being dependable, timely, and communicative.
  • The willingness to be positive, engaging, and approachable in a public setting.
  • The willingness and enthusiasm to work collaboratively in a team setting.
  • The ability to thrive in a day-to-day self-supervised work environment.
  • The capacity to be available for 16-24 hours per week in 8 hour shifts with weekday and weekend availability. Shifts are:
    • 6:30 am – 2:30 pm and 11:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekdays.
    • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on weekends.
  • A commitment to work April 17th to September 30th, 2019.
  • The ability to ride a bike with a willingness to ride in mixed city traffic and off-street trails pulling a trailer.
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist.
  • A commitment to respect, include, and be kind to all.
  • The willingness to further their knowledge on trail and neighborhood history, and the societal impacts of race, gender and identity and how they intersect with their job.

Ideal candidates will have:

  • A proven track record for working collaboratively within a team.
  • A firm commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • Excellent communication skills in informal settings and across lines of difference.
  • Confidence interacting with and serving the public.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and capacity to innovate.
  • The ability to organize time wisely and juggle multiple priorities.
  • Lived experience with our program trails and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Trail Rangers operate as a team and benefit from the unique skills and talents of each team member. Ideally, one or more team member will have:

  • The knowledge of the principles of safe bicycling and traffic laws in DC.
  • The ability to lift up to 30 lbs.
  • Working knowledge of basic bicycle maintenance including patching a flat tire and adjusting brakes.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish, ASL or Amharic a strong plus.
  • Thorough attention to detail and experience with data tracking.
  • Previous experience as a DC Trail Ranger.

WABA welcomes previous Trail Rangers to apply as a Lead Trail Ranger. In addition to job responsibilities above, Lead Trail Rangers will:

  • Mentor and support Trail Rangers.
  • Run segments of orientation.
  • Be responsible for program elements, including: volunteer coordination, community outreach, event outreach.

Lead Trail Rangers must have:

  • Previous experience as a Trail Ranger.
  • A thoughtful approach to big picture program strategy.
  • The ability to teach and mentor.
  • The ability to lead program elements.

WABA is committed to:

  • Providing opportunities to learn new skills.
  • Promoting and building an inclusive, collaborative professional team environment.
  • Orientation and team management that prioritizes your well-being, including training in preventing common cycling injuries.
  • Doing our best to have a consistent schedule that respects your time and outside obligations.
  • Providing all the tools, bikes and materials needed to perform the job.

This position is part-time from April 17th, 2019 through September 30th, 2019 for approximately 20 hours per week.

Please email a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Trail Ranger” as the subject line. The Trail Ranger team benefits from a wide range of skills and life experiences. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Here are some helpful resources as your prepare your job application materials: compilation of resources and resume basics.

Applications will be accepted until March 3rd though candidates are strongly encouraged to apply earlier. Phone interviews will begin March 5th, hiring decisions will be made by March 29th and team orientation will be April 17th – April 19th. Phone calls at (202) 518-0524 x208 only if you do not have easy internet access please.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

MLK Day of Service: Find a trail cleanup near you!

Join in a Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr Day on the Capital Trails Network. The Capital Trails Network is a regional network of world-class current and planned trails connecting the region. With 456 miles of trails currently in the Network, there is certain to be something!

Our region is connected by its trails, rivers and roads. Your efforts at one trail spot will not only help that trail but the neighbors down the watershed by reducing trash flow or making the trails a more pleasant place to be. World-class means thoughtfully designed but also trash-free, well cared for, and free of invasive plants. Join a local organization (WABA is running one cleanup but there are lots more!) for MLK Day of Service to make our region’s trails and the landscapes they connect better.

Click on the map to find your local trail!

Double-check with event organizers that cleanups are still on! Many events are cancelling due to weather forecast and or lack of government appropriations. We’ll try to keep this page as updated as possible.

District of Columbia

Pope Branch Park
Hosted By: Pope Branch Restoration Alliance and Anacostia Riverkeeper
Monday, January 21st
2900 M Place SE
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Status: Confirmed on as of Friday 1/18

Register here

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Hosted By: Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Saturday, January 19th
1550 Anacostia Ave NE
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Status: Cancelled due to government shutdown

Register here

Anacostia Park
Hosted By: Student Conservation Association
Monday, January 21st
1900 Anacostia Ave SE
10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Status: Cancelled due to government shutdown

Register here

Metropolitan Branch Trail
Hosted By: WABA and Carlos Rosario School
Monday, January 21st
514 V St NE
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Status: Postponed due to inclement weather

Register here

Marvin Gaye Trail
Hosted By: Washington Parks & People
Monday, January 21st
601 Division Ave NE
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Register by emailing: info@washingtonparks.net

Prince George’s County

Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Hosted By: Friends of Quincy Run, Washington Rowing School, Town of Bladensburg
Monday, January 21st
4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg MD
Status: Confirmed on as of Friday 1/18
9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Register here

City of Alexandria

Belle Haven Park
Hosted By: Friends of the Mt Vernon Trail
Monday, January 21st
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Register here

Arlington County

Washington & Old Dominion
Milepoint 0 in Shirlington
Hosted By: Friends of the W&OD and Trail Patrol
Monday, January 21st
10:00 am

For more information and to register, please email kmohle@nvrpa.org

Montgomery County

Sligo Creek Park
Hosted By: Montgomery Parks and Friends of Sligo Creek
Monday, January 21st
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Register here

Rock Creek Regional Park
Hosted By: Montgomery Parks
Monday, January 21st
9:00 am – 11:00 am

Register here

See you on the trails!

Know of a cleanup on a trail in the Capital Trails Network that we should add to this roundup? Email Ursula, Trail Ranger Coordinator at trailranger@waba.org.

End of Year Report: A Trail Ranger Sort of Season

The DC Trail Ranger seasonal program champions the trails and trail users of the District of Columbia. During the 2018 season, Tim, Carly, Trey, and Matthew kept District trails clear, led events and rides to introduce the trails to more people, and fixed a flat or three to keep trail users rolling.

Trail Rangers helped Red Line commuters try the Metropolitan Branch Trail during the August Metrorail shutdown around Brookland, partnered with the National Park Service for the centennial of Anacostia Park with a guided history tour, and had 250 people join Anacostia Pedal Paddle Palooza to explore the Anacostia watershed. It was a busy summer on the trails! Thank you for joining us.

By the numbers: in 2018, DC Trails Rangers:

  • Rode 1,978 miles on four urban trails
  • Promoted trails through 147 hours of outreach
  • Spent 195 hours cleaning broken class, clearing branches, and keeping the trail tidy for users
  • Spoke with 2,058 people about regional trails and WABA programming
  • Distributed 864 DC bike maps
  • Celebrated trails with 691 people at 19 events

Interested in being a trail ranger? Sign up to hear about future job openings! Yes!




Anacostia Pedal Paddle Palooza!

Pedaling the Anacostia River Trail is just *one* of the ways to enjoy the Pedal Paddle Palooza!

It’s a pedal paddle palooza! Join the biggest watershed exploration party on September 29th to bike and kayak the Anacostia watershed. Start in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County or the District on bike and explore the trails to finish at Kingman Island.

Come to the river on September 29th!

Let us know you’re coming!

How much does it cost?

Nothing!

Where do I start?

We’ve got launch points in all three jurisdictions in the Anacostia watershed – start somewhere close to home or totally new to explore something different!

Montgomery County – Sligo Creek Park at Dennis Ave

Prince George’s County – University of Maryland

District of Columbia – 11th St Bridge

Do I need to start at a launch point?

Not required but definitely recommended. We have all the trail directions and event passports at the launch points. Raffle is only open to folks who have completed their passport book! And to be officially on the ride, there are bike waivers required that are only available at launch and paddle points.

Do I need to register?

We do require waivers to be signed for both kayaking and riding. They will be available at all launch and kayak points but also available for kayaking here. Save yourself the time outside for fun and do it ahead!

How long is this ride?

As long as you want! We’ve got activities throughout the Anacostia watershed on the trail but the average ride from a launch point to the central hub at Kingman Island is 10 miles. The trail follows the Anacostia River and water prefers to go downhill if possible, so the trail is pretty flat with a downhill trend towards the District.

When should I start?

All the launch points are open 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. The earlier you start, the cooler it will be and the less folks will probably be using the kayaks. If you pedaled straight from Sligo Creek Field (the farthest away launch point) to Kingman Island, it should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add in the necessary time for stopping to smell the flowers, snack breaks and kayaking, what makes sense for your schedule?

Kayaks and paddles will be provided (for free!) on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What should I bring?

Folks who are joining us for the trail ride should have a working bicycle, helmet (insurance requirement) and a bike lock. There will be bike racks at all the kayak and motorized boat tour locations. Staff will be at all the paddle points to keep a cursory eye over your stuff – please be prepared to lock your bike. We recommend taking your phone and wallet with you in a small plastic baggie. Larger panniers, extra jackets, etc., should be safe on land. Although, please do not bring your family heirlooms or diamonds.

Folks who are kayaking should bring a small plastic baggie to keep valuables dry. A broad brimmed hat (baseball hat, etc) and sunglasses would be helpful to reduce glare and sunburn when you’re out in the water.

For everyone – please bring water, snacks, sunscreen and clothing to keep you safe outside for a few hours. Phones are also good for taking photos of our gorgeous watershed!

What’s the weather plan?

We don’t kayak or ride bikes during hazardous conditions such as lightning or thunderstorms. If dangerous storms roll over the area on Sept 29th, we will likely cancel the event. But other than that, we’ll be a go! Please bring the water, snacks, sunscreen, or clothing layers you need to keep safe outside.

What’s the scoop with the Sligo Creek launch point?

Precise address: Dennis Ave and Sligo Creek Trail (next to Sligo Creek Middle School)

Closest Metro: Forest Glen

Arriving by car: Car parking is at the Sligo Creek Middle School. Once you have parked, please follow the signs to the trail and the launch point tent!

What’s the scoop with the University of Maryland launch point?

Precise address: Paint Branch Drive and Technology Drive, College Park MD 20742

Closest Metro: College Park – U of Md.

What’s the scoop with the 11th St bridge launch point?

Precise address: Good Hope Rd SE and Anacostia River Trail (below 11th St Bridge)

Closest Metro: Anacostia

Arriving by bike: if you are arriving from the east bank, the most pleasant connections to the trail and over/under 295 and Minnesota Ave are Good Hope Rd SE, and River Terrace though Nicholson is also a decent option. If you arriving from the west bank of the Anacostia River, the most pleasant connection across the river is 11th St Bridge though Benning and South Capitol are also decent options.

Arriving by car: Parking is free at the Anacostia Metro garage over the weekends. There is also plenty of free parking along Anacostia Ave in the park, and paralleling the trail.

Anything else I should know? To get from the Metro, follow the signs to the parking garage. Once at the parking garage, walk out the back and across Howard Rd to the gate of the fence. You’ll see a 1 story National Park Service building and the blue roof of the Park Police headquarters behind it. Walk straight through (the public is allowed!) and straight to the river. Once you arrive at the trail, take a right and we’ll be at the bridge you can see!

How do I join?

Come to the river on September 29th!

Let us know you’re coming!

Where’s WABA?: September Edition

Have a trail or bike question? You’re in luck because it’s September – which means all the street festivals happen and WABA has a busy schedule planned! We’ll have trivia, oodles of really great bike maps and lots of thoughts on getting around our region.

Find us at:

Park(ing) Day
Friday September 21st, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
2101 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washington DC

Hillcrest Community Day
Saturday September 22nd, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
3100 Denver St SE, Washington DC

DC State Fair
Sunday September 23rd, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
4th and M St SW, DC

H St Festival
Saturday October 13th, 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
~600 H St NE, Washington DC

Want to help us spread bike love and talk your socks off? Volunteer as part of our outreach team.