Currently in its 12th year, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, 2 teams of professional outdoor educators, have reached over 10 million people in 48 states with Leave No Trace education and training.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Outdoor Chattanooga

Recently we had the pleasure of working with a great group of outdoor enthusiasts in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For those of you who haven't had the chance to visit this area, it is full of options for getting outside and playing. Local mountain bikers, trail runners, climbers, hikers, kayakers, and rafters participated in our Leave No Trace Awareness Workshop hosted by Outdoor Chattanooga. Outdoor Chattanooga is a super organization that promotes outdoor recreation in the Chattanooga area. We want to give a big thanks to Ruthie and Phil at Outdoor Chattanooga for making our visit such a big success. Also, we would encourage anyone planning a trip to this part of the country to check out their website, it has lots of information on things to do and see while in the area.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Bluegrass State

This past week we’ve been all over the state of Kentucky and have enjoyed learning about the state’s rich history of horses and bourbon. Since arriving we’ve been able to provide two Leave No Trace workshops, one at Murray State University and one at Western Kentucky University. Both went great with college students, faculty, and community members all showing up to learn more about Leave No Trace.

We also had a great opportunity to work with our new Kentucky State Advocate, Noelle Grunwald, along with Kentucky State Park staff and other outdoor enthusiasts on a Trainer Course at Natural Bridge State Park. This course was a great success and we now have eleven new Leave No Trace Trainers in Kentucky! Despite icy weather, we were able to get outside, and hike up to the parks most popular geographic feature, Natural Bridge. It’s truly an amazing sight and we encourage anyone traveling through the area to check it out.

As we finish up our tour of Kentucky with a workshop with Troop 127 of Harrodsburg, we look forward to hearing from all the people that we’ve met this past week and are exited to know that Kentucky has so many individuals who are passionate about Leave No Trace.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby!

We recently had the chance to enjoy a short visit at home in southeast Missouri. We spent a few days visiting with friends and family and playing with our dogs. We were preparing for a presentation at our Alma Mater when all of the sudden mother nature stepped in. An ice storm rolled across the midwest and dumped 5 inches of snow and ice on us. Around 11 PM the power went out and we spent the night listening to trees crash to the ground. The ice shut down the city and the university and cancelled our event. Hopefully we will get the chance to stop in at Southeast Missouri State again and visit with Dr. Holman and the students there.

A National Park Tour

While making our way across the Southwest we decided to take a mini National Park/Monument tour. We started our tour at Chiricahua (Cheery Cow-ah) National Monument in Arizona. The rock formations here were amazing. We highly recommend a visit. After a night at the Bonita Canyon Campground and a hike on the Echo Canyon Loop trail we headed on to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. We spent some time playing on the dunes and made our way to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. After a cave tour of the Big Room we drove on to Guadalupe National Park in Texas. Despite cold, windy and even snowy conditions we made our way to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. Four National Parks/Monuments in four days, not too shabby.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Finders, Keepers???

A few days ago, we were hiking on a popular trail just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.  We were excited to finally be out west, and really enjoying the desert landscape of the aptly named Red Rock Canyon.  During our hike we noticed a few outcropping of litter, especially near the areas that were close to the road and near the scenic overlook.  When we reached the turn around point of our hike we took a few minutes to really appreciate the land around us, not only the intensely colored rocks, but also the the sturdy plants and animals that live in the area.  As we hiked  back to the Subaru, we both started grabbing the broken bottles, faded soda cans, and crumpled fast food wrappers that littered the trail.  It didn't take long before the plastic grocery sack that we found stuck to a cactus was filled with trash.  As we neared the section of the trail that intersects the road, we spied a familiar red envelope hiding under a rather large sagebrush.  Now, just so you know, while we have no problem picking up bits of litter that we come across on the trail, we don't often get down on our hands and knees in the middle of a trail that is lined with cacti to fish trash out from under a sagebrush.  What made us go the extra distance in this case was the likelihood that the familiar red envelope peeking out from under that rather large sagebrush contained something more interesting than the other litter that we had collected...a DVD from Netflix.  After freeing the envelope, we discovered that it did indeed contain a DVD, and post hike we enjoyed watching that DVD from the comfort of our tent.

So, this got us to thinking about keeping a running tab of other weird "trash" items that we find while hiking, biking, climbing and camping this year.  Also, we'd love to hear about any odd items you may have discovered while playing outside.  Just comment on here and at the end of the year we can post an inventory of all the crazy things that people have found.  Oh, in case anyone is wondering, the movie we found is Breach, it's based on a true story about a Russian spy, and it's worth the rental fee.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sunshine in the Southwest!!!

While we both love a good snow day, there's something to be said for 65 degree days in February. So for those of you who may be craving warmer days, here are a few of our favorite photos from our recent tour through Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Even though we are on a tight schedule, we make it a point to go on at least one hike in each state we visit. In Nevada we visited Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area. Palm Canyon in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Chiricahua National Monument were two amazing stops in Arizona. Most recently, we were amazed by the sights at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

Photobucket Album

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Longing for the pitter-patter of little feet…on the trail that is? Well, you should be. Taking kids outside can help them form a lasting relationship with the natural world. In addition, by bringing a kid with you on your next outdoor adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to see your favorite place through new eyes and ensure that someone in the next generation will love that place as much as you do.

Recently we had the opportunity to spend two days doing PEAK trainings with REI employees in Salt Lake City, Utah. PEAK, which stands for Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids, is an educational program developed through a partnership between REI and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to encourage kids to get outside and enjoy the outdoors responsibly. While we were in Salt Lake, we provided REI employees training on how to lead PEAK activities with youth in their community. You don’t have to be an REI employee to take advantage of this unique program. Anyone who is interested in taking kids outside and teaching them about outdoor ethics can benefit from the PEAK program. To learn more about PEAK visit our website at