The Outdoor Discovery Network, which oversees WenatcheeOutdoors and OkanoganOutdoors could be dubbed the folly of Doug Pauly, Bob Parlette, and Andy Dappen. In the winter of 2005, the three were drawn into a philosophical discussion. They asked each other how they could get more people connected to the outdoor world surrounding the Wenatchee Valley and Okanogan County. Could they spread the fun, physical health, and mental health derived from muscle-powered outdoor recreation? Could they build community among the disenfranchised outdoor enthusiasts living and playing in North Central Washington? Was there a better way to keep outdoor enthusiasts informed about issues affecting outdoor resources? And could they coordinate these disconnected enthusiasts in local efforts to conserve places that make North Central Washington an extraordinary place to live?
Traditional outdoor ‘clubs’ seemed to be as popular as truck-stop coffee. But a central website creating a library of local outdoor information, a gallery of inspirational outdoor photographs, a news source about local issues and conservation efforts, and a center for bringing outdoor people together -- this kind of java, they thought, was needed. So they built this website.
Grant money for the effort was initially received from the Complete the Loop Coalition. Eric Anderson, a professional web designer, a climber, a backcountry skier, and a friend was abused because he believed in the project. Andy Dappen, a local journalist, provided much of the content. In subsequent years, generous grants and gifts from the Complete the Loop Coalition, Icicle Fund, Community Foundation, Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, Chelan-Douglas Health District, and the Central Washington Hospital have kept the effort growing (more about our grants and sponsors). Along the way Outdoor Discovery Network established itself as a 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission of promoting muscle-powered outdoor sports at the local level for the purposes of improving local lifestyles, enhancing public health, augmenting sustainable new economies, and strengthening local conservation efforts.
In the summer of 2012 a new wrinkle was added to the mix. For two years we had talked about launching a more interactive forum so our local outdoor enthusiasts could share information faster and more easily. Focus groups helped conceptualize and flush-out the idea but we weren’t finding time to launch the beast. Finally Ray Birks, exasperated by our incompetence, stepped in, got the forum running, and helped administer/moderate it. If you’re not a user of the forum yet, it’s time to join the conversation (see WenatcheeOutdoorsForum.org ).
HOW YOU BECOME US
The on-going success of the website and forum depends on making you part of us. We’ve built these resources so that outdoor enthusiasts can connect, take trips together, develop friendships, share stories and photos, and work together on issues making this an even better place to live. Most of the features at this site were designed for involvement. So join the activities and outdoor groups we highlight. Use the information we post on the website but share your expertise, too. Post photos, write up trip reports that will benefit others, write articles, work on issues, and converse at the forum. Connection and mutual involvement—that’s how a place populated by individuals becomes a community.
Content Issues: (email@example.com)
Forum issues (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (email@example.com)
Technical Issues: (firstname.lastname@example.org)