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 26, 2010

Picture of the week 2/26/10

Every month in 2010, you can take the Bigfoot Challenge! Have you taken it this month?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Youth Serving Organizations in Sunny Southern California

On Tuesday we were in Laguna Beach where we met with twelve employees of several youth serving organizations: the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tustin and Laguna Beach (the Main Branch and the TLC Branch) and the Environmental Nature Center. These educators all work with youth ranging in ages from five to eighteen, taking them on trips that vary from a short walk in the local park to longer adventures that include camping and hiking. They were all excited to not only learn about different activities they could facilitate with their kids, but also to learn the "whys" behind Leave No Trace information. One question was, "What do I say when a student asks me why they can't throw an apple core on the ground if it will decompose anyway?" The crowd was sharp and came up with the answer as a group: 1. Items such as an apple core aren't native to most natural environments, and generally are not thought of as suitable food for wildlife. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters their natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers. 2. The cumulative impacts are also important to consider. One apple core might not seem like a big deal, but what if everyone started throwing their apple cores into the woods? For more answers to questions like this check out our FAQ's page as well as our research page. Special thanks to Megan Wilson for putting this together and getting such an enthusiastic audience to attend!

Chalk Dust a Flyin' in Chattanooga, TN

Tennessee Bouldering Authority (TBA) is Chattanooga’s first indoor bouldering and rock-climbing facility. On Monday evening we visited the facility that has nearly 3,000 ft2 of world-class indoor rock climbing walls and dedicated training space. For over 10 years they have offered the right equipment, instruction, and support to ensure excellent rock climbing experiences for climbers of all skill levels. During our presentation, we highlighted the importance of disposing of waste properly in climbing areas, while playing the activity "How Long Does It Last?". The group was intrigued to learn that an aluminum can can last from 200-400 years in the outdoors. Additionally, the activity was an eye-opener for one participant who admittedly just quit smoking 2 months ago, after 8 years of smoking. She realized that many of the cigarette butts that she tossed out the window without a second thought were still lingering in the environment today!

Here is an action shot from the activity "Step On It", where we focused on choosing durable surfaces. If you are in Chattanooga, be sure to check out TBA for a stellar climbing experience.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Delta Experience

We wrapped up our visit in Mississippi on Friday when we were invited by Todd Davis, Program Coordinator for Outdoor Leadership and Director of Outdoor Recreation, to speak at Delta State University during the Environmental Science Symposium. As one of two guest speakers, we were able to educate over 70 faculty and students about Leave No Trace and how to incorporate the information into their campus lives. Many of the students who attended the symposium will be participating in the amazing trips that Professor Davis will be leading this year, such as a week-long adventure mountain biking in Moab, UT.
One of the benefits of this job is that we not only get to visit and recreate in a wide variety of places all across the country, but we also get to take in some of the local culture while we are there. We certainly were entertained in the Delta. On Thursday night, we attended the Ms. Delta State beauty pageant (a first for us!), then on Saturday, we watched the Men and Lady Statesman's Basketball teams on their home turf. Wooo!
A special thanks to Todd and Krista Davis for hosting and sharing the Delta experience with us.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Girl Scout Troop 7415

On Saturday, we met with Troop 7415 in Hopkins Wilderness Park in Redondo Beach, CA. Eight girls and three leaders and parents attended this two-hour program. Throughout the morning they actively learned about the principles of Leave No Trace by playing PEAK activities such as "What Principle Am I?", "Minimum Impact Match" and the instant classic "Leave What You Find" draw and share.

The audience asked a number of excellent questions but our favorite was the query, "Are we enjoying the outdoors the right way or the wrong way?" that came up early in the day. Fortunately we were able to share that Leave No Trace is best explained as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules and regulations! This understanding seemed to set the tone for a very enjoyable and educational rest of the morning, and we were fortunate to have such a pleasant and motivated group.

All the best.................

Jason and Agata

Friday, February 19, 2010

Picture of the Week 2/19/2010

Agata getting a close look at the monzogranite in Joshua Tree National Park thanks to our new friends, Sienna, Annabella, Gretchen, Tim and Sadie.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Outdoor Outreach

Outdoor Outreach is a non-profit organization that provides at-risk and underprivileged youth with outdoor experiences. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we had the opportunity to work with the Outdoor Outreach program at two schools in San Diego, Crawford High School and the Monarch School.

At Crawford, we met with ten students, who will be going on a field trip to a landfill next week. We gave them a preview of trash issues by playing "How long does it last?" We also appealed to their artistic abilities and asked them to participate in a Leave What You Find drawing activity.

At Monarch, we had a very theatrical crowd of fourteen students, who we asked to present skits of each of the Leave No Trace principles. The picture above shows the after-school teacher Rob, presenting Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces. Overall, the students had fun while learning a little something about where Leave No Trace fits into their approach to responsible outdoor recreation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Outdoor Trips- College Style

As the spring season rapidly approaches, many collegiate outdoor recreation programs are gearing up for their upcoming trips. In preparation for these adventures, it is important to learn and practice the skills of Leave No Trace. We had the pleasure to present at two colleges in the south this week. Our first stop was at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. We worked with the Outdoor Pursuits program to educate their trip leaders and other students. We would like to thank Alabama State Advocate Skip Essman for making the trip up to campus to talk about the state advocate program, as seen in the picture above.
We then traveled to Ole Miss in Oxford, MS to take part in the "Blowout", a celebration of the Ole Miss Outdoors Program. They participate in some really amazing trips, like dogsledding in Canada, surfing and sailing in Charleston, SC, and backpacking the Appalachian Trail. Hats off to the programs at both of these schools for inspiring their students to enjoy the outdoors and promoting responsibility while they are out there! We only wish we had more time to join them on one of these trips!
Happy adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council

On Saturday, we traveled to Redlands, California and had the opportunity to present a three-hour workshop to nine Girl Scouts and six of their leaders and parents. We started the day off by playing a few PEAK activities, "What principle am I?," "How long does it last?," and "Minimum impact match."

Once the girls were a bit more familiar with Leave No Trace we asked them to play detective in our mock campsite. They had a great time playing "Crime Scene," and discovered all the less than Leave No Trace "crimes" we had set up. We wrapped the day up with one last PEAK activity, "Principle Relay." The group was enthusiastic, asked great questions, and we had a great time working with such a fun audience.

All the best....

Agata and Jason

Monday, February 15, 2010

Team East joins Alabama State Advocate Skip Essman

After a snowy couple of days in Atlanta, GA we traveled down to Prattville, AL, a small town outside of Montgomery, to be guest speakers at a Leave No Trace Trainer Course led by Alabama State Advocate Skip Essman. The course was held at Camp Tuckabatchee, a beautiful scout camp outside of town. We were asked to speak to the nine participants, as well as other Leave No Trace Master Educators and Trainers who were there to assist in instruction, about the Traveling Trainer program and new initiatives launched this year including Leave No Trace Hot Spots and the Bigfoot Challenge. We would like to thank Skip for inviting us to the course and for all his hard work throughout the year as the state advocate! We look forward to working with Skip again on Tuesday, when he will join us at the University of Alabama in Birmingham for an awareness workshop.
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Guess Who?!!!!

Hey Everyone! No, we are not back on the road, but who says we can't shoot out a blog every now and then.

It may not seem like it, with snowstorms rolling through places almost daily, but spring is just around the corner. What better way to spend a few spring days than on a Leave No Trace Trainer or Master Educator Course? Check out the Leave No Trace Community Page for course listings because it won't be long before that ice starts melting.

Hiking in Giant City State Park, IL

Friday, February 12, 2010

Picture of the Week 2/12/10

Enjoying a high alpine lake in Montana

Thursday, February 11, 2010

APPL Convention in San Diego, California

Greetings from the 2010 APPL Convention in sunny southern California. The Traveling Trainers were set up to share information and answer insightful questions about Leave No Trace programs. On hand were administrators and board members from a number of national parks, state parks, non-profit organizations, as well as a strong showing by the Army Corps of Engineers.

One of the on sight activities we set up was the Bigfoot Challenge registration desk where individuals were able to ask questions about Leave No Trace and register online during the show.

The opportunity to connect with local educators and other community members was a great way to share the educational materials we carry on the road and explain more about the grant and scholarship programs available from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics with the generous support of our various partners.

See you on the road..........

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We're Curious...

As we travel around the country, we are constantly running into people who are huge fans of Leave No Trace. They love to share their stories with us and let us know what Leave No Trace means to them. So now, we are curious... What does Leave No Trace mean to you?
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Association of Partners for Public Lands annual convention and trade show

We are in San Diego, California, gearing up for the Association of Partners for Public Land's annual convention and trade show that we will attend February 9-10. This annual convention brings together federal and state land management agencies and nonprofit organizations to learn, conduct business, and build a national public lands community.

We are expecting over 400 attendees and over 150 exhibitors. We will be handing out free education materials, demonstrating resources that are available to you and promoting ways for you to create a larger Leave No Trace presence in your area. We will also have our laptops available, so anyone who stops by our booth can participate in the Bigfoot Challenge right then and there.

All the best...

Agata and Jason

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leave No Trace Partners With The Army Corp Of Engineers

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is partnered with over 450 organizations. Through a recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as, the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Army Corps will begin efforts to incorporate Leave No Trace in areas that they manage. This is an exciting opportunity for the Center, as the Army Corps manages 12 million acres of land and water that is used for recreation. Here are some additional statistics from the Army Corps of Engineers website:

Corps rank among federal providers of outdoor recreation: #1

Visitors per year: 353 million

Percentage of U.S population that visits a Corps project at least

once a year: 10%

Number of recreation sites: 4,263 at 423 Corps Projects

Percentage of U.S. population that lives within 50 miles of

of a Corps Lake: 70%

Land and water used for recreation: 12 million acres

Miles of Shoreline: 55,024

Number of camp sites: 91,320

Miles of trails: 4,606

Team East is heading to Savannah, Georgia for the 2010 South Atlantic Division Conference. Here we will have the opportunity to work with rangers from the southeast and teach them ways to utilize Leave No Trace information at the areas they manage. Stay tuned for updates from the conference!

Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, February 5, 2010

Picture of the Week 2/5/2010

Team West and Team East enjoy a day of team building at Solitude Resort in Utah.

Awareness Workshop at William Smith High School, Aurora, CO

We spent most of the day Wednesday at William Smith High School. Between ourselves and Team East we taught eight separate awareness workshops, reaching most of the 250 students at this small, diverse high school in Aurora, CO. We had a great time leading a few different activities and sharing Leave No Trace information. The students asked great questions and participated in discussions. We also had the chance to use a smartboard (though it made us feel like we went to high school during the stone age) and show the students how to take part in the Bigfoot Challenge.

All the best...

Jason & Agata

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting Prepared for the Road!

These past couple weeks have been a training extravaganza! As the Traveling Trainers are departing to their respective east and west sides of the country, it has been an intense two weeks of preparation for life on the road. Most recently, we spent two days in the field in Lyons, CO working with Ben Lawhon, Education Director, and Dave Winter, Outreach Manager. This was a great opportunity for the teams to dive into the educational curriculum and collaborate with each other about the ins and outs of the Leave No Trace Trainer Course. This two-day course is a train-the-trainer model for individuals interested in teaching Leave No Trace to others. Here are a few pictures from our training- enjoy!

Dave Winter leads a lesson on Disposing of Waste Properly
Ben Lawhon explains the proper use of a Go Anywhere Bag

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are ready to hit the road!

See you out there and happy adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Monday, February 1, 2010

PEAK training in Westminster, CO

On Saturday, we traveled to REI in Westminster, CO to work with locals interested in learning about our PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) program. We were joined by Team West, Jason and Agata, as well as 11 individuals that wanted to gain information about teaching Leave No Trace to kids. During the two hour presentation, we were able to introduce the PEAK Pack and the Teen Pack, and educate the participants on effective teaching strategies and techniques. We had a great time sharing a few activities and learning about the Leave No Trace information. If you are interested in a PEAK training, you can contact your local REI or request a visit from the Traveling Trainers.
Happy adventuring...Kate and Tracy