THE SUBARU/LEAVE NO TRACE TRAVELING TRAINER PROGRAM
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
We recently visited the Bay Area in California. During our visit we met up with Steve Sergeant, the producer and host of 'The WildeBeat'. The WildeBeat is an audio journal about getting out into the wilderness. Steve interviewed us and we put together a few sessions that will be aired on the WildeBeat website in the future. (we will post a link when they air) Steve is a great guy and we would encourage you to check out his show at www.wildebeat.net
After our interviews we headed to Carmel to hang out and chat with visitors at the Point Lobos State Reserve. Working with Jane Eckman, a long time volunteer at the Reserve, we set up a booth and handed educational materials to many of the visitors that came into the park.
After a little work we headed out for a little play in Chinatown, Sonoma, and Lassen Volcanic National Park where we showed off our LEVITATION skills!
If you wanna brush up on your LEAVE NO TRACE skills check this out!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
After trying our hand at Mississippi climbing, we ventured northeast, back to one of our favorite new locations, Chattanooga, TN. We randomly picked a location out of the climbing guidebook and ended up at Fosters Falls. Thankfully, this area was nothing short of amazing! Foster's is home to not only a beautiful waterfall, but some excellent climbing as well. We tried our hand at several climbs over the course of two days before we headed to North Carolina for our next event in Asheville. We put together a little slideshow of some of the places we've been recently, Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This past week we were excited to work with two very different groups of outdoor users in the Pacific Northwest. Early in the week we spent some time with a group of boyscouts in Oak Harbor, WA. Many of these scouts were just beginning to form a relationship with the outdoors. Hiking, biking, camping and sea kayaking were all activities that these boys either enjoyed or hoped to try in the near future. We demonstrated ways that Leave No Trace skills and ethics can relate to all the outdoor activities that they are learning to enjoy.
Later in the week we traveled to Ashford, WA to instruct a Leave No Trace Trainer Course with one of our partners, International Mountain Guides. The mountain guides who participated in the course have spent countless days outdoors and have the experience and training necessary to keep themselves and their clients safe and comfortable in the most extreme environments. During the course we shared ideas on ways that they could weave Leave No Trace instruction into the trips that they will be leading on Mt. Rainer this season.
Working with these two distinct groups was a great reminder that Leave No Trace is an important and relevant skill no matter what your outdoor experience may be. We had a great time with both the Oak Harbor Boyscouts and the IMG guides and hope that we have the opportunity to meet up with both groups again!
So long Central Oregon. So long Bend, Mt. Hood, and Smith Rocks. Not only were we in a great part of the country, but we got to spend a week with family, good friends, and fellow Traveling Trainers, Emily and JD. Hwy 139 took us from Reno to the Lava Beds National Monument to explore the lava tubes and the sites of the Modoc War. Highway 97 took us through Oregon with a brief stop at snowy Crater Lake National Park, and then to sunny Bend, OR. In Bend, we visited Ms. Moore’s environmental awareness class at Pilot Butte Middle School. Then it was off to the Zigzag Ranger Station in northern Oregon for a workshop with the Mt. Hood Wilderness Stewards. It was a fun, hot afternoon as we discussed Leave No Trace, did some good activities like “flag feces” and “watch your step,” and practiced the Authority of the Resource Technique. Thanks to Georgia Bosse, the Oregon State Advocate, for teaching the group about Minimizing Camp Fire Impacts, and to Mary Ellen Fitzgerald for inviting us to spend the afternoon with the Wilderness Stewards. We spent the next couple days climbing and hiking in Smith Rocks State Park, the sport climbing capital of the country and now we're on our way to Moab for the Desert Rocks Music Festival.
From Trees to Desert,
Tanya and Cody
Sunday, May 18, 2008
This year’s New River Rendezvous proved that rainy weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of the climbing community. The event saw roughly 900 volunteers, sponsors, and participants amped on a weekend of climbing, fellowship, and contests. We had the distinct pleasure of running a Bag Your Micro-Trash at the Crag Contest. The winner of the contest helped pick up a considerable amount of micro-trash from the base of several popular climbing areas in the region. For his efforts he was rewarded with a prize pack donated by Miguel’s at the Red River Gorge.
The Rendezvous shifted gears this year after last year’s event. The promoters moved to a pre-registration system and capped attendance to 700 participants. The other big news was this year’s zero waste initiative. The promoters were pleased to see how much cleaner the venue was compared with last year’s Rendezvous. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the Micro-Trash contest, your stewardship is much appreciated, and to our wonderful hosts, this may have been our first Rendezvous but it certainly won’t be our last. To find out more about this fabulous event go to http://newriverrendezvous.com/
Topher Marlatt & Alexis Ollar
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Today we visited Seneca Ridge Middle School in Sterling, Virginia. We were guest teachers for the Ranger Steve afterschool program, and did a Leave No Trace program for 6th and 7th graders focusing on the “Leave What You Find” principle. There were 22 students and two amazing teachers. The program started off discussing what Leave No Trace meant to them, and ways they can lessen their impact on the environment. Afterwards we played a great game called “Stealing the WOW” which uses puzzles to illustrate sometimes not getting the whole story when pieces of the puzzle are missing, and then relating the puzzles to the environment. The students immediately saw the correlation, and how we can have a lasting impact in the backcountry when things in the environment are disturbed or even taken, like artifacts, or carvings in trees, or picking flowers. All the students really enjoyed the game, and understood the importance of leaving what you find. Afterwards we discussed alternatives to taking things in the environment, like taking picture, journaling, sketching, and even just having memories from beautiful things when we are in the outdoors. We had a great time with the students at Seneca Ridge, THANK YOU!
Now we are headed to West Virginia to the New River Rendezvous for an exciting weekend on educating the climbing community!
Alexis & Topher
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
1. Have a zippered pocket that is for trash only.
2. Stay on the trails and don’t cut switchbacks.
3. Be prepared to dispose of human waste properly.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
We'd like to solute all the mother's on this day, Mother's Day, and to Mother Earth who without, none of this could be possible!
...The last few days were spent in the Western NY region. After visiting Niagara Falls we had the opportunity to run several workshops at Niagara County Community College, where they are in the midst of adding an outdoor recreation major.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
This week over one thousand 4th and 5th graders traveled to Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge to take part in River Education Days. During the two-day event Wisconsin students from the La Crosse area were introduced to river resources, water safety and Leave No Trace. We were thrilled to have such a great classroom in which to talk with kids about outdoor ethics. We often use hands-on activities to help us teach people about Leave No Trace; one of our favorite teaching tools is an activity called Watch Your Step. This activity, which comes straight out of our PEAK Pack, encourages kids to think about the plants, animals, and insects can all be living in a very small area. Kids discover that what appears to be a patch of grass or a dead log is actually a mini-ecosystem. At the end of the activity we were talking with the kids about all of the living things they had discovered and a tiny garter snake slithered into our outdoor classroom and stopped briefly at our whiteboard. It was a pretty exciting moment and was the perfect ending to our “Watch Your Step” discussion.
We've been logging some serious miles this week. First, we did a great backpack trip to the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. We followed the Middle Fork of the Gila River through a winding, lush, high walled canyon and ended our four day hike at the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Then it was back to the road as we headed out of New Mexico and into Arizona for a visit to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Parks and a quick visit to good old Flagstaff. We continued through AZ and into Nevada over the Hoover Dam, past Vegas, past radioactive Yucca Mountain, a ghost town full of ghosts, and through hours of scenic Mojave Desert before we hit the Sierra and Lake Tahoe for a birthday celebration and a snowy hike in the Desolation Wilderness. Whew. What a long week! Now we've come full circle all ready and we're back in Reno, NV for the Reno River Festival. Here are photos of our mini road trip/vacation.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
This weekend we participated in the 2nd annual Great Green America Fest in Manheim, PA. The festival took place at the Mount Hope Estates and Winery which is home to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival grounds. The event hosted a variety of green-minded organizations from the region and beyond. The first day of the festival was dedicated solely to students from local school districts, with 4,500 students attending the festival from grades k-12th. Friday and Saturday of the event was open to the general public, attendees were from all over the great state of PA and surrounding east coast states. Even though the weather didn’t fully cooperate there was still a solid turnout. Their seemed to be something for everyone from activities and crafts, to displays, demonstrations, and even music. We were extremely impressed with how well run the event was considering it was only the second year of the festival. We enjoyed our time here and hope to come back for years to come. Special thanks to our wonderful hosts for putting us up and helping us out at the Great Green America Fest!
Topher & Alexis