Tales From The Trails:

Meet Lisa! Our New Trails Manager

The Forest Park Conservancy (FPC) is excited to introduce Lisa Slupianek, our new Trails Manager! In coordination with Portland Parks & Recreation, Lisa will oversee the maintenance of Forest Park's 47-miles of soft-surface trails and lead volunteers in fun and rewarding trail projects year-round. You'll be seeing a lot of Lisa on the trails this summer; so, to help you make her acquaintance, we asked her a few questions.

FPC: How did you become a trail professional?

Lisa: When I graduated college, I was so unsure of what I wanted to do in my life. I have always been an avid fan of hiking but I never dreamed I could make a career out of it. On a whim, I took an AmeriCorps position with the Montana Conservation Corps and immediately fell in love! I continued on as a Forestry Technician with the US Forest Service and most recently worked with the Northwest Youth Corps.

FPC: How do you define "trail work"?

L: To me, trail work is all about reading the land. I never want to force the placement of a trail. It’s all about building the trail where the land wants it to be, in its most natural state. You have to think about where the water will drain, how the animals will be affected, future erosion problems, etc. There are so many not-so-visible factors that play a role in trail work. It’s a fun challenge!

FPC: What do you like best about your new job?

L: I love that I am constantly learning! Whether it’s discovering a new favorite hike or hearing about the Northern Flicker woodpecker, I love the wealth of knowledge that our volunteers and staff have here at FPC.

FPC: If you could invent a new trail tool, what would it be?

L: I’ve always said that my favorite trail tool is my boot. I find myself constantly kicking rocks out of the trail, tamping down new tread, and sweeping loose dirt off the trail all with just my boots. If there was a magical, indestructible, master boot equipped with a fold-up shovel/McLeod combo, that would be a dream.

When you see Lisa in the park, please be sure to give her a warm welcome! Or, if you see something on the trail that you'd like to report or praise, feel free to drop Lisa a line at lisa.s@forestparkconservancy.org.

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