Our Team

Backpack: Trans-Catalina Trail

Along with co-directing The Cairn Project, Founder Alison Wright works in philanthropy, where she directs an international grantmaking program that supports frontline environmental activists and strategic litigation on their behalf.

Instagram: @alison.m.wright

50 miles on a Southern California Island

Alison has made a habit of spending her late dad’s birthday on a hiking trip, celebrating one of the pastimes they most enjoyed together. This year, her “Doug Wright Tribute Hike” will explore the length of Catalina Island – a dot of rolling hills 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. Alison will ferry to Catalina’s southern port of Avalon and make her way along the trail to the north terminus at Starlight Beach, then retrace her steps back to the northern ferry terminal as Two Harbors. She’ll spend the night at a couple of designated campsites along the way where, unlike most of California, campfires are allowed! Bring on the s’mores!


About this Landscape

Catalina Island is one of the Channel Islands, and is home to more than 60 plant, animal, and insect species found nowhere else in the world. It comprises the longest undeveloped coastline in Southern California, and 88% of the Island is designated as preservation area and managed by the Catalina Island Conservancy.


Why Get Out & Give Back

“My dad’s love of public lands, logistics, and travel so inform who I am – our years of hiking and backpacking are some of my most cherished memories and most formative experiences. I was so lucky to have a dad who prioritized to connecting me to the lessons of outdoor adventure.

For me personally, The Cairn Project is partly about celebrating his legacy and passing that same opportunity on to today’s girls and young women.”

Aw Cf Sup
Alison Wright
Founder - The Cairn Project | Read More Posts

A San Francisco native, Alison grew up in a family that enjoyed the privilege of outdoor access – many memories were made in California’s iconic mountain and coastal landscapes. Alison has spent her career in the philanthropic sector, advancing initiatives for justice and empowerment internationally and closer to home. In addition to her leadership at The Cairn Project, she directs the Environmental Defenders Collaborative at Global Greengrants Fund, channeling support to frontline environmental activists around the world.