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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National Public Lands Day

On Saturday, we joined 225 volunteers at Buffumville Lake in Charlton, MA to take part in the 18th annual National Public Lands Day.  Although National Public Lands Day is only 15 years old, this park has been going for 18 years strong.  Every year folks come and volunteer their time to clean up the trails, paint fences, and assist in a variety of other projects in the park.  National Public Lands Day provides an opportunity for people to give back to the areas they enjoy recreating at throughout the year.  We had a wonderful time chatting with the volunteers about ways they can incorporate Leave No Trace in their everyday lives.  Did you get out and participate at your local park for National Public Lands Day?  We would love to hear about it!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Monday, September 28, 2009

Team East visits Edith Macy Conference Center

Last week we were invited to the Edith Macy Conference Center in New York to be a part of the Outdoor Skills Certification/Conference for the Girl Scouts of USA.  Leaders from all over the country gathered to learn skills that will be essential tools to teach the girls in their councils.  Our first mission was to be a support team on the Leave No Trace Trainer Course, held early in the week.  15 dynamic and passionate participants became Leave No Trace trainers.  Every woman on the course provided thoughtful presentations and discussions to the training.  They are all excited to learn ways to integrate Leave No Trace into their curriculum.  A special thanks to Marj Eby, chair of the GSUSA/Leave No Trace Task Force, JoAnn Schiffer-Burdett, Bureau of Land Management/California State Ethics Coordinator, and Tina Smith, Girl Scout IOT,  for running a great trainer course and making our stay so comfortable and welcoming.  
In addition to the trainer course, we also joined Karen O'Brien, Leave No Trace State Advocate for Massachusetts, at a "meet and greet".  This provided an opportunity for Karen to talk about the State Advocate position and ways people can get involved in the Leave No Trace community.  Thanks Karen!
Finally, we joined Marj and Tina again for a 3 hr workshop with an additional 15 people at the conference.  The workshop provided a great venue to share some of our PEAK Pack activities, talk about the Bigfoot Challenge, and share insight into how these leaders can get Leave No Trace more involved in their councils.  
We had such a fun week working with these women.  Their passion and commitment to building strong girls of the future is commendable.  Keep up the good work ladies!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Picture of the week 9/25/09

What?  You haven't taken the Bigfoot Challenge yet?  Don't wait any longer.  Take the challenge today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

Athletes from around the country gathered in the Washington DC area to take part in the North Face Endurance Challenge for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  This is the third stop of the challenge where 1,200 dedicated athletes came to race in either the Gore-tex 50 mile, the 50K, Half Marathon, or 10K runs.  The day was full of excitement!  We were happy to be there to encourage runners of all ages to Leave No Trace on their outdoor adventures.  
The athletes that take part in this challenge are amazing!  We were so impressed with the achievements of the participants and were proud to be there to witness history!  At this race, we saw runner Amy Palmiero set a new world record for the fastest amputee racer to complete the 50 mile race!  She was so fast, she beat the previous world record for men and women by over an hour!  She was truly an inspiration for all athletes at the event.  
We are looking forward to being at the next North Face Endurance Challenge in Madison, WI on October 24, 2009.  See you there!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

School Is Back In Session

Students across the country have returned to their college campuses. This presents a valuable setting for the Traveling Trainer program to provide awareness workshops.  Most recently, Team East visited Hartwick College,  a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in beautiful Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes connecting the classroom to the world.  In focusing on connecting their student to the world, Leave No Trace is a perfect fit into the discussion of connecting students to the natural world in a responsible manner.  We were able to provide both an awareness workshop on campus and a booth setting in the student center to maximize outreach across the campus.  The students were enthusiastic about learning the skills and ethics of Leave No Trace.  The workshop was held at the Pine Lake Environmental Campus.   On this campus, students are provided with opportunities for hands-on research, academic study, and self-discovery. It's a place to learn about the natural environment and history of human land use.  We enjoyed our time with the students of Pine Lake, especially our stay in the strawbale house.  Thank-you to Dan Morse for setting up our visit.  
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Work, Play, Work. Repeat.

Last week we had the opportunity to work with a great partner of ours, Lifeline, in Tigard, OR. After meeting with the great crew there we made our way up to Olympic National Park for a little play time. Check out the picture above.

After some sightseeing in the park we headed down to Eugene, OR where we worked with the staff and students at Northwest Youth Corp. We spent the morning chatting with students about Leave No Trace and applying the principles to their upcoming camping trips.

Picture of the Week

Emily Ressler, Team West Traveling Trainer, descends Boundary Peak (13,140 ft) in NV.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation Trainer Course

This weekend we led a dynamic group of 7 participants that are involved with the Boy Scouts of America at the Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation in Schuylkill, PA.  This was a unique opportunity to train people that are involved in the organization on many different levels, including cub scouts, high adventure, and future eagle scouts.  Everyone was excited to take their new knowledge and apply it to future outings with their troops.  The Boy Scouts of America have just re-written their hand book to include a more extensive section of Leave No Trace and they will be working hard to integrate Leave No Trace at all levels of scouting. We wish the new trainers well in all their future Leave No Trace workshops!  Here are a few pictures from the course- enjoy!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy

Friday, September 11, 2009

Picture of the week 9/11/09

Graffiti is one of many reasons Leave No Trace education is so important in front country areas! This photo was taken at Dover Peaks, MA.

Outward Bound on Thompson Island

As we travel the country teaching Leave No Trace, we encounter many firsts.  For our last event in Boston Harbor, we had to take a ferry ride to get to the presentation site! That was definitely a first.  Outward Bound Thompson Island has been serving the youth of greater metropolitan Boston for more than 20 years.  They are stewards of Thompson Island in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area where their 204-acre campus is the 'Island Classroom' of the Boston Harbor Islands.  We had the pleasure of working with 17 staff that were gearing up for the fall season.  We shared activities that they could use with their students when they come to study on the island. We applaud Outward Bound for reaching out to urban youth in the Boston area and helping them to feel more connected with nature.  Keep up the good work!
Safe travels...Kate and Tracy  

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bigfoot Wants You to Leave No Trace!

We spotted Mr. Bigfoot on our way to Humboldt State University. During our visit there, we presented to several classes and set up a table in the common area. We talked with hundreds of students, many of whom took the Leave No Trace Bigfoot Challenge!

To show our appreciation, we gave every student who took the challenge a sweet "Bigfoot's Been Doing It for Years" t-shirt.

Want your very own "Bigfoot's Been Doing It for Years" t-shirt? All you have to do is take the Bigfoot Challenge and pay shipping and handling!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Photo of the Week: Burning Man

We spent a few days at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. We had a great time working with Earth Guardians and Toxic Avengers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's Your Leave No Trace Strategy?

Last weekend we headed to Incline Village, Nevada to set up a booth with Big Blue Adventure Series. In addition to an off-trail triathlon, many trail runners showed up to battle it out during the 5k and 10k races. We had a lot of fun chatting with athletes and spectators about ways to minimize their impacts while competing. Athletes invest a lot of time training for these races and developing a race strategy. We encouraged racers to spend some time developing a Leave No Trace strategy. Trash like water cups and food wrappers are easily misplaced during the race, so having a plan to deal these items is important. Often water cups are dropped at aid stations and quickly picked up by volunteers, but trash dropped on trail can be easily missed by race sweepers. This trash can take many years to decompose and poses a health risk for wildlife. For more ideas on how you can develop your own Leave No Trace strategy click here.

Volunteer Vacation

Most people would agree that spending a week at Lake Tahoe is a pretty great vacation, but it takes a special type of person to spend a week building trails at Lake Tahoe and still think it's a pretty great vacation.

Last week we met up with staff and volunteers from American Hiking Society near Truckee, California. During our morning presentation, we worked with seasoned staff and volunteers as we discussed programs offered by Leave No Trace. Later that day, we were able to meet up with a brand new crew from AHS's Volunteer Vacation program as they prepared to spend the week building trails in the area. We had a great time and were awed by all the work that these folks accomplish while on vacation! Nice work and hope to see you all again in the future. Happy've certainly earned it!