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.

Monday, August 25, 2008

TransRockies Run


Today marked the start of the second annual TransRockies Run which pits runners against the elements and each other.  The weeklong race takes competitors  on foot from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek on some of Colorado’s gnarliest terrain.   We were on hand t provide competitors and spectators information on how to apply Leave No Trace Skills and Ethics to the great sport of trail running.  The race went off without a hitch as a 150 dedicated runners charged out of the gate for the first stage of the race.

Immediately following the start of the race we made our way over to the Avery-Parsons Elementary School to conduct awareness workshops for students from 1st to 5th grade.  We held four sessions, tailoring each program to the grade level.  In total we presented Leave No Trace information to roughly 200 students.  We had a great time in Buena Vista and want to thank Avery-Parsons Elementary, and our partners the TransRockies Run for welcoming us and for taking such good care of us while we were in town.  

Happy Trails, Topher & Alexis

Green Frontier Fest

It's Sunday in Denver, and the whole town is amped up. Thousands of folks, including the Traveling Trainers, spent the day in downtown's Sculpture Park for the Green Frontier Fest. This was a community celebration of sustainable choices in the New West, held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.  Guest speakers, great booths showcasing sustainable opportunities, and thousands of people excited about new possibilities on the horizon made for a wonderful day.  We enjoyed talking to all who were interested in Leave No Trace and how it applied to their recreational choices and daily lives.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New York Minute

Summer is always a busy time for the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program. While Team East and Team West have been busy doing presentations, for us, most of the past month was spent at Center for Outdoor Ethics in Boulder, Colorado working on program development and doing some community outreach at local events. While we love being close to our amazing coworkers in Boulder, we were excited to get back out on the open road.

We just wrapped up a great event at Camp Gorton in Dundee, NY. We joined over 40 scouting leaders for Powder Horn, a training session which exposes the Venturing or Boy Scout leaders to activities and resources necessary to operate a successful Venturing Ranger Award or Troop High Adventure program. Working with this dedicated group of scouting leaders was a great way to get back into our Traveling Trainer groove.

After our presentation, one of the Powder Horn participants chatted with us about his plans for sharing Leave No Trace with his council and he reminded us that while there were only 40 people in the room, the ripple effect of our presentation could reach thousands. We hope that’s true and we look forward hearing about all the Leave No Trace success stories that will come from our new friends at Camp Gorton.


  In lovely Steamboat Springs, CO we met with kids and parents in Elk Park for a Leave No Trace session and a barbecue picnic afterwards.  In the above photo, these eager and exuberant youngsters practice the "Rule of Thumb" for viewing wildlife at a distance.  We played games and discussed the seven principles while using the Kids plastic reference cards to cover the most important aspects of each principle.  The following day, we held an awareness workshop at the brand new community center for ten folks from the Steamboat area.  
  Big thank you to Paige Boucher from Mountain Hardwear for organizing these events and making us feel right at home.  We're already looking forward to visiting again next year.

Happy August,
Tanya and Cody

Thursday, August 21, 2008


After leaving Salt Lake City and the craziness of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market we headed back to Boulder via I-40 and Dinosaur National Monument. This was a spur of the moment decision and when we arrived we were initially disappointed to see that the Quarry Visitor Center, which houses the famous cliff face of dinosaur bones, had been closed due to to significant structural hazards. If we had only visited the parks website we would have known this vital piece of information; we should have brushed up on the first Leave No Trace principle, Plan Ahead and Prepare. On the flip side, had we properly researched the area, we may have postponed our trip and missed out on the opportunity to have the monument basically to ourselves.

We did see a few fossils, although it required a little more work than driving to the visitor center, walking into the exhibit and having a well informed interpreter explain exactly what we were seeing. The fossils we saw blended into a large cliff face about half a mile away from the more impressive display that is the Quarry Visitor Center. We later drove further into the monument to check out some of the amazing petroglyphs in the area. Again, minus a few folks driving through, we had the place to ourselves. So the moral to this story in twofold. First, Plan Ahead and Prepare by checking out guidebooks, websites, and/or speaking with local land managers. Second, if you find out that the main attraction is closed, consider going anyway, it may end up being a unique opportunity for solitude and exploration during the busy summer season.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1st Flatiron

We have been back in Colorado for a few events, had a chance to catch up with staff,  and even had some time to enjoy the mountains of Colorado in the summer. The distinct backdrop of Boulder are the Flatiron mountains which offer scenic beauty as well as climbing! We have been wanting to climb the 1st Flatiron one of the top classic climbs in the country, since march and finally are wish came true. There are multiple flatirons, but Flatiron # 1 offers the longest vertical climbing.  The climb is about 10 pitches to the top of the summit, with over 1,000 vertical feet. It was truly epic climbing, views of Colorado down to Boulder and even out to Denver, and views atop of the summit looking out over the other flatirons and other mountains.  Climbing the 1st Flatiron has been a big recreational highlight for us, and will not be the last time climbing in the Flatirons of Boulder, Co.

Next we are off to Buena Vista, Co for the Trans Rockies Run!

Happy Climbing, 
Alexis & Topher 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lyons Folks Festival

Just had a wet, but great time at the Folks Festival in Lyons, Colorado. We got to enjoy acts like KT Tunstall, Amos Lee, Greg Brown, Nanci Griffith, The Waifs, Todd Snider, Tim O'Brien, Dar Williams, Josh Ritter, The Mountain Goats, and many many others along the banks of the St. Vrain River. It was great fun working with Alexis and Topher, just in from the east, and all the folks at Planet Bluegrass, especially Bonnie and Steve.  It was another successful "How Green Is Your Grass?" campsite competition with many wonderful entries showing us all how to be clean, sustainable, and creative when you camp.  

Tanya and Cody

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008

This past weekend we headed to Salt Lake City for the biannual Outdoor Retailer Show. OR attracts thousands of retailers that are looking for outdoor specific products, services, brands, fresh ideas, apparel launches, and outdoor innovation. With so people in the outdoor industry in the same place, Outdoor Retailer is an excellent opportunity to increase awareness for Leave No Trace.

Thanks to the support of our amazing partners, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 was particularly successful. Subaru and Backpacker Magazine make it possible for us to host the wildly popular Great Gear Giveaway. Over 800 people participated in our Leave No Trace Ethics Quest for the chance to win 17 prize packages full of amazing gear donated by many generous companies in the outdoor industry.

Additionally, many of our partners host special events during the show that benefit Leave No Trace in unique ways. We want to thank everyone who held events for their support. Check out our slideshow to see a few highlights of the show.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wet and Wild in Gunnison

After a couple days of rain we made our way through the front range of Colorado to find beautiful sunny skies in Gunnison.  All the rain helped set the stage for the Gunnison River Festival.  The festival was part of a series of programs that made up River Awareness week.  Apparently locals are dealing with several issues that threaten both the water quality as well as the quality of recreational experiences in the area.  Mining threatens the watershed for Crested Butte which has the potential of damaging fish populations as well as other forms of aquatic life, while upstream water diversion threatens to destroy the thriving water sports community that exists in and around Gunnison.

 The river festival was a great opportunity to rally folks who are passionate about their rivers, as well as coming together to enjoy the beautiful white water park.  The festival featured a variety of vendors, the largest watershed model we’ve ever seen, a portable climbing wall, and of course the white water park.  The healthy flow of water gave kayak competitors great waves to surf during the rodeo comp which all the spectators appreciated.  The day concluded with local folks who dressed up in costumes rafting through the park on some of the most creative rafts ever, one of which was a giant pizza.  One things for sure, Gunnison locals know how to have a good time.


Happy Trails,


Topher and Alexis

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer Camp in Kentucky

We spent the morning in Campbellsville, Kentucky at the Tim Horton’s Children Foundation Camp. We worked with about 128 campers from ages 9 to 12, that attend the for a 10 day session. There are about 7 different camps, and most of them being in Canada. Campers are picked from different parts of the country, and are granted a once and a life summer camp experience. We introduced all the campers to Leave No Trace, and the importance of stewardship towards the land. We ran a couple of new activities focusing on Respecting Wildlife, and Choosing the Right Path.  We are headed to Colorado for the Gunnison River festival, and a chance to link up with Leave No Trace staff and trainers at the Lyons Folk Festival.

Happy Trails,

Alexis & Topher 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

BSA in Jonestown, PA

This was the third year the Traveling Trainers had the opportunity to spend time at Bashore Scout Reservation in Jonestown, Pennsylvaina.  About twenty scouts participated in the hour long awareness workshop we hosted.  After a review of the seven principles the group had the opportunity to participate in a new activity called stepping stones.  The activity educated the scouts on the importance of traveling on durable surfaces, and planning ahead and preparing.  The group had several minutes to plan their strategy on how to cross an area using fewer felt "stepping stones" then members in the group.  After some tough planning and tense moments crossing the divide the group succeeded at crossing.  After playing Stepping Stones the group learned about minimizing campfire impacts while playing Campfire Impacts.  The game pitted four teams against one another in determining the correct answer to questions regarding minimum impact fires.
We want to thank our hosts at the reservation for taking care of us while we were in the area, and hope that all the participants in the group walked away from the workshop with skills and ethics to Leave No Trace.

Happy Trails, 

Topher & Alexis 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple

In the city that never sleeps there is said to be about 25 million people in New York City, and somewhere in that mix you would find us, the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers. We had three different programs over the past few days in the Big Apple, and probably our most unique program setting to date.  Camp Central Park is one of the many youth camps that run out of Central park, and we worked with 60 campers   from ages 6 to 11.  Inwood Park youth camp was the second youth program we did while in NYC in the upper Manhattan area working with 25 day campers. Both of the youth programs we discussed impacts on the environment and impacts they see in the city. Since we were in the largest city in the U.S. we touched on all 7 principles, but really focused on the ones that pertain to urban life styles. “Trash your Trash” was a big focus, while talking about the three R’s as well Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 

We also met Central Park Conservancy staff for a program in the park. We presented to about 10 staff members who primarily work in the Woodlands area of Central park doing conservation work. We focused on the frontcountry principles, and programs that Leave No Trace has been successful with.  The conservancy staff is turning over a new leaf and looking to change some things within the park, due to user impacts and the amount of people that use the park. They do such an amazing job taking care of the grounds and beautifying the park, and are looking to make it even better. Thanks to the staff  for pointing out the Bouldering in the park, its not everyday you can get a little climbing fix in right in the middle of the largest city. We look forward to working with the conservancy staff in the future.

Thank you to all our NYC program hosts! Next off to Pennsylvania & Kentucky for programs.

Happy Trails,

Alexis & Topher


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Montana State Parks

We spent a fun weekend at a couple state parks near Billings, MT. We at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics are excited about our new State Parks Parternship opportunities and Montana State Parks, along with Nevada State Parks, is leading the way in the West. We set up a booth and worked with Darla Bruner at Pictograph Cave State Park on Friday. Then we headed down highway 212 to Cooney State Park to meet with Park Rangers Dave, Sharon, and Cody at this boating hot spot. These rangers sure have their work cut out for them on these busy summer weekends. We hosted two evening workshops at Cooney and talked to folks about front country issues such as litter, visitor conflicts, and pet concerns. We would also like thank Doug and Mike with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for some good conversation and insights about Montana's parks and recreational opportunities. If your state park is interested in a partnership with Leave No Trace, please follow this link or visit the parks partnership page on our website.

Grizzly Country

We finished a two night back packing trip in The Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. We made sure that we were extra careful during this trip and took Leave No Trace practices to the highest level. We drank our left over spaghetti water and swallowed our natural tooth paste instead of broadcasting our grey water. It didn't feel right to leave these scents around in Grizzly Country. We didn't want to compromise our safety and the safety of other campers in the area by being careless with our waste. We were also told not to wear our cooking clothes to bed because you might wake up to an unwanted visitor. So we packed a cooking set of clothes and a sleeping set. There are special measures that we all need to take when hiking and camping in bear country and we urge you all to contact the visitor center or land manager in the area you plan on recreating in to get the latest updates on bear precautions. Enjoy the pictures.

Tanya and Cody