Some of us only ride, hike, or run trails. But there are many others who also support outdoor recreation and conservation groups and volunteer their time on trail and restoration projects. We need more of the latter, people who are trail and public land champions, like Bill Way and the NEWTS, Diana Roberts, and Bill Kinzel. (OTO) 

Diana Roberts: Steward and Friend of the Bluff

Submitted by The Friends of the Bluff

Diana Roberts always cared deeply for the land and its inhabitants. As a young girl on a tree farm in Zimbabwe she learned agriculture from her father. While working as an agronomist with Washington State University, she shared her knowledge with area farmers. In 2010, her love of the High Drive Bluff in Spokane led her to start the non-profit organization, Friends of the Bluff

Trail advocate Diana Roberts at High Drive Bluff Park in Spokane, Wash.
Photo of Diana Roberts, courtesy of The Friends of the Bluff.

Roberts’ passion and dedication provided the kind of spark that is needed to sustain a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. Over the past 10 years, the Friends of the Bluff have organized trail maintenance, fire suppression, invasive plant management, tree planting, park cleanup, and naturalist projects and events. The High Drive Bluff would not be what it is today without her wisdom and caring spirit.  

Roberts recruited the group’s original board of directors and hosted the meetings, where her dogs would always greet everyone at the door. These lucky animals not only attended board meetings and hiked the bluff, they were also skijoring and paddle boarding companions. Roberts even had her pets certified for visits to hospices so that they could provide comfort to the residents. Her love and compassion truly extended to all living things. 

Sadly, Roberts passed away in March, but she left a legacy of people organized and educated to carry on her work. She was truly one-of-a kind, and will be missed dearly. Whether you knew her personally or not, if you have been on the Bluff, you have felt her presence. Next time you find yourself on Spokane’s High Drive Bluff, smile at your fellow trail users while you’re out there. Say hello. Diana would have liked that.