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Airman volunteers to make outdoor recreation more available

Local reservist serves his country, drives trucks and clears trails

Airman Marc Tiemeyer at the opening of the Phase 2 Mountain Bike Trail at Swan Creek Park in Tacoma which he helped build. Photo credit: Walter Yi

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Airman Marc Tiemeyer has led an active life. Born and raised in Forks, Washington, Tiemeyer came from a logging family. "When I was growing up, I was surrounded by the outdoors, and the forest was my playground and my refuge," said Tiemeyer.  "I spent my youth hiking ... hunting, camping and working with my dad in the forest industry.  My dad really laid the foundation for my interest in the outdoors since he always took us to great places in the Olympic National Forest around Forks."

Staff Sgt. Tiemeyer, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton while serving in the United States Marine Corps as a Forward Observer for the artillery from 1993 to 1997, has served in the United States Air Force Reserves with the 446th Air Wing, 86th Aerial Port Squadron, for the past three years. When he's not on duty, Tiemeyer generally spends his weekdays driving a local truck route for Oak Harbor Freight Lines out of Auburn. But on the weekends, he returns to his childhood passion.

For the past four years, Tiemeyer has been a volunteer with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, "Washington state's largest mountain bike association, and the largest single-state mountain bike organization in the nation representing thousands of riders through seven regional chapters across the state. Evergreen is committed to sustainable recreation, trail maintenance, advocacy, education and trail building, and we are an important partner with public land managers, contributing over 15,000 hours of volunteer labor in the past year alone." ( A healthy number of those volunteer hours has been contributed by Tiemeyer, as he has helped to build and improve more than five miles of mountain bike trails in the "Douglas Fir Forest" section of Swan Creek Park, located at 56th and Portland Ave. in Tacoma.  The trails range in difficulty from just right for beginners to challenging even for experts. "I do it because of my love for the outdoors and to provide families a local place to enjoy the outdoors," said Tiemeyer, who along with his wife, Amy, has two adult sons, Elijah and William, and a teenage daughter, Saije.

Tiemeyer's interest in the outdoors isn't limited to mountain biking. He also enjoys orienteering, which uses a map and compass to guide participants from one point to another across unfamiliar and often rough terrain, and competitive trail running.  Like a marathon, trail running requires runners to cover distances varying from five kilometers to 100 miles, only instead of running on streets and sidewalks, trail runners run on hiking trails. This year, Tiemeyer is competing in the NW Trail Running Winter Series, a series of races held in various parks around western Washington. Learn more about trail running and ways to participate in this challenging sport by going to their website at

The newly constructed mountain biking trails at Swan Creek Park are designed for year-round use and are free and open to the public. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance lists nearly 170 mountain bike trails all around the state of Washington. Check out their website at for a list of all the trails they've built and sponsored, including maps and reviews from riders that tell bicyclists exactly what to expect. Interested in volunteering? Their website makes it easy.

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