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Wild Profile: Leilani Balais

Posted on May 13, 2019 in Conservation Voices, WA Wild Blog

Leilani Balais
Washington Wild Volunteer

Leilani grew up on the West Coast and later went on to study psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, graduating in 1999. Today she works for Tacoma Arts Live, managing community relations and the organization’s event booking software and rental facilities with their Operations department. 

After moving to Washington in 1989, Leilani’s appreciation for local wilderness deepened through her love of hiking, “I know it’s really grueling, but if I want to train for anything intense, Mailbox Peak is my go-to trail… I can push myself to hike it faster or approach it differently so it’s a unique challenge. A lot of people don’t like it because there’s no view, but sometimes hiking isn’t about the views, it’s just about getting out there.” 

Leilani first encountered Washington Wild at a Brewshed® Alliance event in 2017. A year later, Leilani signed up for her first volunteer shift and later went on to become a regular volunteer for Washington Wild. Leilani cites the variation in opportunities and advocacy as the driving force for her continued commitment to Washington Wild, “There are very hands-on organizations that do trail work and also strict political advocacy organizations, but I don’t necessarily want to do either of those exclusively. I like that Washington Wild has a good balance of both. The activities you can get involved in are really varied; you can watch a film, or hear an expert speak, or do a community clean-up, or just have beer, and still learn about and help our wild places. It’s a small intimate setting where you really get to know the people that are part of the organization.” 

Washington Wild is deeply grateful to Leilani and her enthusiasm for protecting our wild lands and waters. Be sure to say hello next time you see her at an event!