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, March 27, 2009

Teaching Teens About Leave No Trace

We recently spent some time in the D.C. area working with Daisy Scouts, Land Managers, Anglers, and High School Teachers. At the Northwoods High School in Silver Springs, MD we had the opportunity to talk with high school teachers about the Teen Pack. Emily (above) took the time to show everyone the activities in the Teen Pack and, of course, we found time to play some of the activities. After the workshop we made our way to North Carolina.

Successfully PEAKing interest at REI

Throughout our travels in New Mexico and Texas, we have had the opportunity to provide PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids)  training to six different REI stores.  In 2001, REI partnered up with the Center to develop a program to introduce the Leave No Trace principles to youth in a fun and interactive manner.  Through the generous support of REI, the PEAK Program is able to reach over 100,000 kids annually!  Click here to find out how you can get your hands on a PEAK Pack to inspire the children in your life to become lifelong stewards of the land.

Safe Travels...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kayak Power

Saturday we spent the afternoon paddling the Trinity River with Mike Swope and his crew from Kayak Power.  After a one hour workshop at LLELA, we took to the river with a group of 20 fellow paddlers.  Braving the cool weather and low water levels, the entire group collected SEVEN 55-gallon trash bags full of garbage and recyclables!  It was fantastic to see the community's spirit to keep the Trinity River clean.  We discussed the importance of disposing of waste properly throughout the paddle.  Did you know one aluminum can will take 200-400 years to biodegrade?  
Kayak Power also hosts a great event called For The Love of the Lake, where they spend the 2nd Saturday of every month cleaning up Whiterock Lake and provide free kayaks for those who pitch in!  If we all do our part, we can keep our favorite areas looking beautiful and clean!  Thanks to Mike for all his efforts in not just teaching the Leave No Trace information, but living it as well!  
Safe Travels...Kate and Tracy

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lake Mineral Wells State Park Trainer Course

Our final Trainer Course with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department left us feeling optimistic that the Leave No Trace skills and ethics will be spread throughout the entire lonestar state.  In addition to the regional state park staff, we had two participants involved specifically in the hunter and boater education programs.  We are pleased to see the Texas State Parks incorporating Leave No Trace into many programs ranging from an interpretive guided hike to the two-day Texas Outdoor Family program.  We would like to thank the participants for a great course and best of luck with your future Leave No Trace endeavors.
With only one week left in Texas, we have covered over 5,000 miles, and still we are bound to cover just a little more ground in this vast state!  We are looking forward to Saturday, when we will join Mike Swope at Kayak Power for a trip on the Trinity River.  This will cap off our Texas adventure!
Safe Travels...Kate and Tracy

Monday, March 16, 2009

Play and Work...Work and Play!

We spent the weekend at Lake Mineral Wells State Park, gearing up for our Trainer Course on Tuesday.  The park is a lovely spot to camp, hike, bike, fish, boat, climb, and just relax!  Although the trails were closed to visitors due to the heavy rains last week, we appreciated the parks efforts to protect the resources.  We are hoping that the trails will re-open today and we can go exploring!  We are excited for our last trainer course in the Lonestar state.  If you are planning on visiting the Dallas area in the future, be sure to check out Lake Mineral Wells State Park- you will not be disappointed!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Fever has been a very busy week...Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia. Here are some pictures from our Awareness Workshop in Georgia. Enjoy!

We went to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA for an Awareness Workshop with park staff and community members. It was great group of folks and after checking out the gardens and the butterfly house we left there with a big case of spring fever!

Tennessee Valley Authority

Here are some photos of a Trainer Course we recently completed with one of our new partners, Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA has 290,000 acres of land that offer many recreational opportunities, including water skiing, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, hiking, nature photography, picnicking, birdwatching, and camping. We had lots of fun on this course and were excited to meet and work with all the staff at TVA.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bastrop State Park Trainer Course, Texas

Trainer courses with state park employees always bring years of experience and knowledge to every discussion.  The Texas Park and Wildlife Department is embracing the Leave No Trace skills and ethics throughout all of their state parks. They are incorporating the principles of Leave No Trace in the successful Texas Outdoor Family program.  We just completed our first of two trainings with staff from a variety of parks at the beautiful Bastrop State Park.  With 13 participants, we were able share many ideas about ways they can address impacts that are seen throughout their parks.  We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership with TPWD at next weeks course in Lake Mineral Wells State Park!  We would like to thank Chris Holmes for all his hard work in getting these courses organized.

Safe Travels.....Kate and Tracy

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Life's Better Outside...

Texas has the right idea...Life is better outside!  We are a third of the way through our whirlwind tour of Texas and we have found adventure in a variety of 'nooks and crannies' all over this great state.  Today we spent the day at Enchanted Rock State Park/Natural Area.  Although the day started off cloudy and cool, that Texas sun came out and brightened our day!  We hiked up and down the rock formations throughout the park, a natural playground for kids and adults alike. With more than 350,000 visitors annually at Enchanted Rock alone, it is so important to protect the resources at the park.
We are excited to have the Texas State Parks be a partner of Leave No Trace.  The Center is offering a free one year membership to any state park that joins Leave No Trace as a partner in the year 2009!  So if you are finding this message outside of Texas and you want to protect your local state park, contact the Center at 800-332-4100!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center Trainer Course

This week we headed to Mansfield, Georgia for a Leave No Trace Trainer Course at Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center. Managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources this 6,400-acre area offers many recreational opportunities including hiking, fishing, hunting, and many educational programs. Here are some photos from the course.

See you out there, JD and Emily

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

UTSA Trainer Course

Government Canyon State Natural Area (GCSNA),  near San Antonio Texas, provided a fantastic arena for our trainer course this past weekend.  GCSNA is a Natural Area that lies on the Balcones Escarpment, an area of deeply entrenched canyons that defines the eastern boundary of the Edwards Plateau.  Approximately 88% of the Natural Area overlays the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.  This area is great for hiking, biking, bird watching, and exploration.  One of our favorite spots along the Joe Johnson route was passing through trees draped with Spanish Moss.  
During the course, we discussed the importance of practicing the Leave No Trace skills and ethics while at GCSNA.  Since this area is over an aquifer recharge zone, contamination of water sources is a major concern.  Also, this area was home to many Native American tribes throughout centuries past and it is important to "Leave What You Find" to protect the many historical and cultural resources that lie within the area.   John Koepke, an interpreter at GCSNA, was especially helpful to have on the course, as he was a wealth of knowledge specific to the site.  Thanks John!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy