Trails and Vistas announced Board and 2012 volunteer opportunities

by Nicole Cheslock
(Tahoe Vista)


June 11, 2012, Truckee, CA- - Trails and Vistas is pleased to announce the organization’s Board of Directors and volunteer opportunities for “The Dreaming Tree” art hikes that will take place on September 8 and 9, 2012 at Donner Ski Ranch.

“The support of the Truckee Tahoe community and our incredibly inspiring and talented leadership team will undoubtedly make our ninth year of Trails and Vistas a grand success,” shares Trails and Vistas founder and artistic director Nancy Tieken Lopez. “Art hikes provide a unique opportunity to slow down, connect with the natural world and tap creative roots by experiencing original dance, music, poetry and installation art on the trail. The art hikes traditionally sell out so this year we are encouraging people to purchase tickets when they become available on July 1.”

Trails and Vistas depends on volunteer contributions to create a successful event. Opportunities include tapping into your voice as a trail leader, helping each guided group stay together as a trail caboose and greeting attendees. All prospective trail leaders are invited to attend the “Finding Your Voice” workshop facilitated by Deb Kelly. The storytelling workshop will teach you how to create small group trust and providence confidence to lead a group on Sept. 8 and 9. Lopez promises that no experience, just commitment and passion, are needed to become a Trail Leader. All volunteers are invited to a festive appreciation event. To volunteer, e-mail or sign up by June 30 at

Founding board member Jean Fournier, a poet and dancer whose art is inspired by the natural world, is passionate about furthering Trails and Vistas’ mission to create art experiences in nature that inspire environmental awareness. With a master's degree in creative Arts in Education she teaches for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Whether hiking, skiing or bicycling Fournier delights in each discovery of beauty along the trail. She has enjoyed hiking around Donner Summit and Truckee since 1966. 

Board members Maria Jones and Katrina Veit joined in 2011. Jones holds a degree in outdoor recreation. She worked at Alpine Meadows as a ski instructor for 27 years and, during the summer, she managed the ropes course at Northstar with Adventure Associates. She moved to the area in 1983 where she met her husband Randy, and they have two children, Chelsea and Dylan.  Veit graduated has a bachelor’s degree in theater and she was working in L.A. as a magazine editor when she was sent to Tahoe to write an article about skiing. The alpine environment was so appealing and captivating, Veit moved to the area two months later. She has been involved in a number of community organizations, including KidZone Museum, Meals on Wheels and Glenshire Elementary PTO. She met her husband, Scott, playing on a Tahoe City Recreation volleyball team. They have one daughter, Emily, a budding artist.

Paige Derdowski, Dan Joseph and Paula Messano joined the Trails and Vistas board of directors this year. Derdowski's greatest loves, besides her husband and two teenage children, are nature and art. She is excited to help Trails and Vistas expose all ages to the beauty, joy and connection nature and art offer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a teaching credential. She and her husband, Kelley Carroll, took a year off early in their marriage to backpack, hike and camp throughout the West. The Lake Tahoe area was a top contender in the "where do we want to settle down" discussions near the end of their trip and they have been here ever since.

Joseph has lived and worked as a furniture and cabinetmaker as well as contractor in Tahoe Truckee for more than 30 years. He trained at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program under the direction of James Krenov who noted his "quiet, sure sense of direction and skill." His work expresses the connection between art, craft, and the natural world. Participation in Trails and Vista as a hiker, group leader, and board member allows Joseph to mesh his passion for the environment with his love of the arts.

Messano’s love of Lake Tahoe began as a child, and her love affair with the area never waned. In 1974 she made North Lake Tahoe her home, and since then she has been an avid hiker and skier. Paula has worked as a travel agent and Director of Resort Sales for Northstar at Tahoe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and retired from teaching government, history and economics four years ago. That is when Paula discovered Trails and Vistas. Messano went on her first hike and at the end of the hike, immediately signed up to volunteer for the next year. Since then, she has been a caboose, trail leader and now is the Volunteer Coordinator for the organization.

In addition, Kellie Wright from the Truckee Donner Land Trust and Christina Stoever-Young of Sunshine Tahoe serve as advisors to the board of directors. Learn more and read full bios at

Trails and Vistas’ mission is to create art experiences in nature that inspire environmental awareness. The non-profit organization’s distinctive annual art hikes are a collaborative effort led by Founder / Artistic Director Nancy Tieken Lopez and Co-Director Elizabeth Archer with vital support from volunteers and regional organizations including InnerRhythms Dance Theatre, KidZone Museum and Truckee Donner Land Trust. Attendees experience live performances and installation art along a guided hike that blends art and nature. This is the only experience of its kind throughout the west. For more information, visit or Facebook/trailsandvistas.

IMAGE: Trails and Vistas Board of Directors
Trails and Vistas Board of Directors is pleased to announce the dates and location for the organization’s signature art hikes: Sept. 8 and 9 and Donner Ski Ranch. From left to right Maria Jones, Paige Derdowski, Dan Joseph, Jean Fournier, Nancy Lopez, Katrina Veit, Paula Messano. Volunteer opportunities include: Trail leader, Trail Caboose, Greeter. Art hike tickets go on sale on July 1.
Photo credit: Susie Zweigle

Media contact: Nicole Cheslock, NC Communications,, (530) 548-5010

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