Greg Ball, 1944-2004: Trail-building inspiration across state
Founder of volunteer program 'was the nucleus, nexus for whole community'
By DEBERA CARLTON HARRELL
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
Greg Ball, whom many considered at the heart of trail-building efforts throughout Washington state, left a legacy of recreational advocacy and enjoyment for generations, friends said yesterday.
Ball, founder and director of the volunteer trail maintenance program for the Washington Trails Association, died Sunday of complications from prostate cancer. He was 60.
Under Ball's leadership, the Washington Trails Association, a non-profit advocacy group, grew into the largest state-based program of its kind in the country.
The former banking executive combined his two passions -- love of the mountains and a strong devotion to community -- when he started the WTA's volunteer trail maintenance program in 1993. The program that generated 250 volunteer hours 11 years ago last year drew 1,800 volunteers, who worked almost 70,000 hours on hiking trails throughout the Cascades and Olympics. WTA volunteers have contributed 500,000 hours over the past decade.
People volunteered for long hours, in the worst weather, because of Ball, friends and colleagues said.