Home > Blog > Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Year 3 Progress Report - December 2023
Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Year 3 Progress Report - December 2023
AMTB ride at Duthie Hill

Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Year 3 Progress Report - December 2023

30 | Dec | '23
Yvonne Kraus

Learning as We Go!

Three and a half years ago we launched an organization-wide effort to identify, learn about, and address social inequities and injustices within our mountain bike community and programs. On June 5, 2020, we vowed to work to make Evergreen and mountain biking in Washington more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive for all.

Following is our 3 year progress summary, as well as our proposed areas of focus for 2024. (If you’re interested in our entire process, please read our original Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Statement, as well as our 1-year and 2-year progress reports).

Read on to see how our community is both learning and driving collective change on our trails and within our team, and how we’re both failing and succeeding in our efforts. The more we learn, the more we realize how significant the needs are, how broad the scope is, and how difficult the work is. This work affects each of us both professionally and emotionally, and it requires dedication and acceptance to change, oftentimes in uncomfortable ways.

We’re taking a beginner’s mindset to this lifetime of work to create equity and inclusion within the sport of mountain biking. But, we are already seeing change on our trails, in our hiring process and applicants, and in our education programs. We’re hoping to soon move the needle in our membership and Board too, and that will be a priority in 2024 and beyond.

Thank you for being part of the change and supporting our efforts. To get engaged, join our DEI committee, or send us your suggestions and/or community partnership and collaboration ideas. Contact myself and/or Kristen McCune to get involved and help us do even better.

In solidarity and with much appreciation,


Organizational Change: Staff Learning

This year we shifted focus away from trying to change the organization, to providing time and resources to our admin staff to broaden their own understanding of the experiences of others. We asked ourselves if we thought we could truly be successful in changing our organization if we’re not committed to the same causes in each of our own lives?

In 2023 we prioritized individual staff development over direct organizational change efforts. Staff were encouraged to hone in on a DEI issue of their own interest and choosing, and Evergreen supported five full days of paid DEI personal development time – whether that be volunteering for a non profit in the DEI space, taking time to read and learn about a specific topic of interest, or completing a webinar or online learning series.

We set off with high hopes, and quickly found out that this wasn’t easy for anyone. The unstructured format was challenging, to say the least, and making time for it when we’re already so busy and stretched for time is even more difficult when there are no mandatory events, meetings or tasks to complete. Simply trying to figure out a focus area: literature, volunteer work/immersion, or simply engagement with new communities or new issues was a more difficult task than we had planned.

But we made progress. Our staff reported back on learning related to tribal relations, literature on the Asian American experience, increasing their own engagement in the adaptive bike space, and attending new events or expanding our social circles. In our own Matt Crosby's words:

"Taking the "Indian Country 101" educational course has been eye-opening. While I am a white person, having grown-up on the Montana Flathead Indian Reservation I was frequently exposed to native culture and assumed I had a better understanding than most. I was very wrong and I have learned something new on every page of the course. It has been both enlightening and heart-breaking to learn a deeper history of native people in the West and a sobering reminder that exposure to culture doesn't necessarily translate to understanding, without putting in the additional work."

Tara Moser volunteered at REFUGE and learned about the Snoqualmie’s Ancestral Lands Initiative and culturally modified trees (CMTs), mentioning how this led to more mindful riding experiences and an increased appreciation for the tribal significance of the lands we enjoy. Yvonne Kraus continued her deep dive into tribal education, starting with the Whitener Group Indian Country education series, participating in the Outdoor Alliance of WA tribal collaboration meetings, and reading reports related to the impact of recreation on natural resources, wildlife, treaty rights and first foods. Liz Lunderman read about the Asian-American experience and hosted femme+ specific trail work parties with much success and new sponsorships and industry partnerships as a result. Kristen McCune deepened her understanding of adaptive bike access and needs, and pursued collaborative education days, instructor trainings, and staff training days, so we can better serve people with disabilities as well as identify and eliminate barriers on trails and within our education program.

We also welcomed trans-female builder Alex Showerman to our trail crew this year, opening the door to better LGBTQ+ community engagement, communication and messaging for our work parties and events. Working with Alex allowed us to gain more direct insight into existing and ongoing dismissal of, bias, and resistance to accepting the LGBTQ+ community on trails, at events, and within our work parties. Having Alex meant both progress AND facing our failings and the work yet to do. Alex ended up moving back home to her favorite trail building organization in Vermont at the end of the summer, but we thank her for everything she opened our eyes to, and are committed to continuing the work to both invite and celebrate pride on trails.


We continued work on our two primary DEI goals for the Trails Program: Tribal Engagement and Adaptive Rider Access.

We worked with the Snoqualmie Tribe on an exciting trail naming project for the new Tennant Trailhead Project in North Bend, to co-name trails in both the Lushootseed and English languages. We are so grateful for their time and investment coaching us through the naming process, and additionally for highlighting the cultural significance of the area in ways that we didn’t understand before.

Many of the words that we use in our mountain bike community (and in our western language in general) don’t exist in Lushootseed, so we had interesting and fun conversations on how you might explain a directional trail, or tech versus flow. With help from Snoqualmie’s Lushootseed translator, trail names were identified that are both somewhat easy to spell and pronounce, have relevance to the site, and whenever possible, integrated something about the experience of the trail you're about to ride. The end result was a list of simple, recognizable names that relates to a feature found on each trail during a walk-through with tribal members, on signs designed by tribal artist and Snoqualmie member, Bethany Frackrell. Names were approved by the Snoqualmie Tribal Council, the City of North Bend and Si View Parks and you should see signs up in early 2024!

We're proud of the effort and hope to be able to work with the Snoqualmie Tribe on more trail experiences that connect us to the people who have and continue to steward the lands we ride on. Once Tennant opens, take a pause to discover the native imagery on the trail signs, be mindful when riding the trails and look out for the features after which the trails are named. And learn a little Lushootseed as you explore each trail in this fun community ride park.

Our trails team is also working on expanding access for adaptive riders, particularly those on 3 and 4 wheeled bikes. Evergreen staff members met and rode with experts in the adaptive recreation field including Outdoors for All, Whistler Adaptive, and Wounded Warriors this summer to discuss ways to collaborate and be more inclusive of riders with disabilities.

Our trails team is using this knowledge to start a trails assessment project at Duthie and Port Gamble with the intention of both modifying features as needed for aMTB access and providing signage or online information relevant for adaptive riders. We want to be clear that this project is in no way about “dumbing down: trails. Adaptive athletes want trails to progress and shred on too. “Universal trail design” is a concept that other trail organizations are adopting (the biggest example being Whistler Bike Park) where trails can be as easy or difficult as riders want, but allowing for the needs of all bikes: standard and adaptive.


Our education program DEI actions focused on building community partnerships and offering scholarships to participants. We served a whopping 277 students in our community partnership and scholarship programs in 2023.

Grants from No Child Left Inside and King County Youth Action Sports
through 2022 and 2023 afforded us the ability to significantly increase our engagement with riders who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get out on the trails. 41 sessions of mountain bike programming were offered in after- school settings for low income students in Wenatchee, and we made improvements to a shared bike fleet with Y.E.T.I. (Youth Experiential Training Institute) and ran “learn to mountain bike” days at:

  • North SeaTac Park with ELL students from Highline School District
  • Cheasty Park in Seattle with Interim CDA AAPI immigrant teens and BIPOC youth with Braided Seeds
  • Duthie Hill with teens in the Congolese Integration Network

Evergreen funds an annual scholarship program through class registration income and external grants. In 2023, we were able to award $8500 in scholarships for 37 youth and adult students.

“Thank you so much for offering scholarships. It really enabled my son to be able to have an incredible experience we would not have otherwise been able to afford. Austin said it was the most skilled teaching he's experienced of the various bike camps he has attended. He advanced his skill level significantly in just a week's time.” – 2023 scholarship recipient parent

Adaptive mountain biking is taking off and Evergreen is excited to be part of it! We offered our FIFTH 4-week “Intro to Adaptive Mountain Biking” program in partnership with Outdoors for All in June 2023. Evergreen coaches also took part in a PMBIA (Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association) training to learn how to better coach adaptive athletes. One of our former aMTB program students joined the certification class and is now an Evergreen instructor teaching new adaptive riders - what a great, full circle success story!

Challenges and Reflections

Evergreen is proud of the “on the ground” work that is happening around the state. We’re working with more riders of more diverse backgrounds, strengthening relationships with community partners, and learning more each day about how we can recognize our own biases and be better humans on the trails and off.

But there’s still so much more to do and learn. We’ve supported successful affinity spaces in rides and work parties, but then hear community backlash from riders who don’t think they’re necessary. We’ve hosted staff trainings and discussions but sometimes still struggle to see our own blinders and make mistakes. We invite people into our “welcoming” spaces only to still find toxic and exclusionary attitudes in some circles.

This past year has been focused largely on personal development within our administrative team with the goal of identifying issues that each individual wants to learn more about. We recognize that our own behavior can have so much impact when it comes to training volunteers, communicating with members, and hosting events. We hope that through learning how to work past our biases and better understand other cultures, we can set the framework for more welcoming and inclusive spaces.

Plan for 2024:  Relationship Building!

While the learning and personal growth of our team members will never stop, we’re shifting focus again for this upcoming year to build relationships with and provide support for riders that we historically haven’t. We noticed that one primary DEI area of focus was missing from nearly ALL of our individual outreach efforts this year – engagement of, and outreach to, the BIPOC community. Thus a clear need, and an obvious choice for our area of focus 2024: understanding barriers, engaging with, and welcoming people of color will be our main area of learning and training for Evergreen’s operations, events, community, and education. Please join us in celebrating and supporting BIPOC riders next season.

We will also expand our DEI trainings to include not only admin staff, but our entire Trail Crew and Board as well, expanding our actions from the office to the field.

One thing we’ve learned so far is that deep and genuine relationships with people and organizations is how we can start to make lasting cultural change. Evergreen’s position within the mountain bike industry is a resource that we want to share with the BIPOC community in 2024 (and beyond!), and we will do our part to continue improving our own knowledge and behavior to make sure we’re supporting safe spaces to do so. Through events and partnerships, we hope to make WA trails a better place to ride for our BIPOC community.

We acknowledge that for many, the unfortunate reality is that mountain biking remains out of reach. We can’t deny the persistent social, cultural, systemic, institutional, financial, and physical barriers of our sport. Evergreen is dedicated to the ongoing journey of recognizing how we’ve played a role in reproducing those barriers. We are committed to reducing barriers that are within our control and influence, so that we can help make mountain biking more accessible. 

Thank you for your support and please join us in our continued efforts to become more inclusive. We will keep listening, learning, and improving the mountain bike community and sport we all love!

Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Year 3 Progress Report - December 2023