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, November 30, 2010

New Canyoneering Reference Tags Are Here!

Leave No Trace's newest educational piece is out and available in our online store. Designed specifically for those Canyoneering, the 3 x 5 reference card is filled with activity specific information, adressing the most relevant concerns for these environments. Order your copy today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Leave No Trace in the Washington DC Metro Area

Last Thursday, we had the pleasure to meet up with Virginia State Advocate, Laurie Harmon, as the state advocate Laurie coordinates all things Leave No Trace in Virginia. Laurie teaches at George Mason University and she set up an awareness workshop with two clubs on campus, the Environmental Action Group and RockOn! Mason Outdoor Club. The students were eager to learn more about Leave No Trace and how they could incorporate the program into their clubs.

On Friday we had the opportunity to visit with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. The six sessions we facilitated throughout the day focused on the PEAK principles and making connections between outdoor recreation and the responsibility we all have to be stewards of public land. The first photo illustrates a perfect example of the principle Trash Your Trash at the school's recycling/composting/trash center that we visited after a nice picnic lunch on campus. The second photo shows two students explaining how they thought Leave No Trace could be considered as they geared up for future outdoor recreation adventures. The students and staff we interacted with throughout the day were a pleasure to work with and we hope to visit again in the future. Thanks to Jessie McKinney for hosting our visit.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, November 22, 2010

Work Hard, Play Hard

As Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, we live by the motto work hard, play hard. This week we put that idea to the test. After spending multiple working at the NAI National Conference in Las Vegas, we escaped the bright lights and big city as we traveled west to Death Valley National Park.

Long before we started working for Leave No Trace, we made it our personal mission to get to all of the 58 National Parks in this country. Death Valley marked park #44! This park is chock full of extraordinary features- from craters to castles, sand dunes to towering mountains, and the lowest point in The United States(282 ft below sea level!).

With the full moon as our guide, we took to the sand dunes for a night hike and it was surreal! We did not see another person as we walked around the majestic dunes, stopping to smell the creosote that grows abundantly in this vast landscape. This park is truly amazing, especially if you can get here in the fall or winter, when the weather is perfect!

We have two remaining National Parks to explore in the continental United States. Hopefully we will get to visit Voyaguers and Isle Royal in 2011. Until then…

Happy Adventuring- Kate & Tracy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Picture of the Week 11/19/10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Virginia Beach Friends School

The Virginia Beach Friends School is a school filled with 160 students from 3 years old to seniors in high school. The school integrates the Quaker values of equality, integrity, simplicity, peace, and environmental stewardship, so the Leave No Trace program fit right into the school's educational philosophy. We met with students from Kindergarten to 12th grade and everyone in between and shared the 7 principles of the Leave No Trace program through a variety of activities such as How Long Does it Last and Minimum Impact Match.

Above we have grades K-5 demonstrating "the rule of thumb" to determine a safe distance to enjoy viewing wildlife and thinking about the principle Respect Wildlife. In the photo below we had a unanimous moment of excitement when we asked the students at the Virginia Beach Friends School "who likes to play outside?"

Thanks to Jacquie Whitt and Ed Hollinger for making our visit possible.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NAI National Conference-Las Vegas

Las Vegas, the city of lights, loud music, and lots of people, is one area of the country you would not expect Leave No Trace to be. Yet this week, over 1000 outdoor enthusiasts from around the country are swarming "Sin City" for the National Association of Interpretation Conference. We are happy to be here to take part in this national conference to educate interpreters and outdoor educators about the Leave No Trace program. We have already spoken to hundreds of participants about our Traveling Trainer program and how to get FREE training at their sites, our youth program PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids), as well as ways to incorporate Leave No Trace into their existing programs, and it is only the second day of the conference! We are looking forward to the rest of the week here, especially our adventure to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located just outside of the city!
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy

Monday, November 15, 2010

West Central Florida & Gulf Ridge Councils Centennial Camporee

On Saturday, we had the opportunity to participate in the West Central Florida and Gulf Ridge Councils Centennial Camporee. The Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers and Sea Scouts put on the largest scouting event ever in West Central Florida to celebrate the 100th year of scouting. About 300 people came by our booth to learn more about taking care of the outdoors and they had a chance to figure out how long common trash items last in the outdoor. We also had the opportunity to facilitate two awareness workshops and teach 75 scouts and leaders more about minimizing their impact on the outdoors.

Thanks to Jeanette McCullough for inviting us!

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Winter Skills and Demo Day

Over the weekend, we were invited to present two awareness workshops at the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) conference in Keystone, CO. In our first workshop, we addressed techniques and strategies on how to run a successful Leave No Trace awareness workshop. Round two was focused on the general skills and ethics of Leave No Trace, highlighting winter and alpine environments. The participants represented a variety of schools and universities from across the country including the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!), Southeast Illinois University, and Pacific University in Oregon. We are confident that the workshop attendees will enthusiastically bring Leave No Trace education back to their communities. It's all about sharing the ethic!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Friday, November 12, 2010

Picture of the Week 11/12/10

Sunrise at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

300th Unique Event!

Last week we spent time in Ridgway, CO for a series of youth workshops within the public school system. Each of our events were filled with lively, energetic students that were motivated to learn about Leave No Trace. We worked with two 3rd grade classes at the elementary school. After school, we worked with students from the Voyager Youth Program. To top the day off, we hit the gym and presented to the Ridgway/Ouray climbing team. A special thanks to Amber Bray for setting up the events!
The above picture shows the 3rd grade class practicing the "leap frog" move before a game of Leave No Trace Draw. Pictured below is the two classes posing with Bigfoot and their Leave No Trace ethics reference card for kids.
In recent days, it has come to our attention that we have hit a milestone, so to speak. As we reflected on our time spent on the road, as we often do on lengthy drives, we never cease to be amazed at the shear amount of people we have met at our presentations over the last two years. That got us thinking, how many times have we had the privilege of presenting Leave No Trace to the masses? To our delight and surprise, it turned out that our time spent in Ridgway yielded our 300th unique event...and we aren't done yet!
Happy Adventuring...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Trainer Course in Little Big Econ State Forest

"Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I will remember. Let me do, and I will understand."


This past weekend we were in Seminole County, Florida for a two day Trainer Course with Boy Scouts from around the Sunshine State. The 16 hour course focused on instructing the fundamentals required to teach others the skills and ethics of Leave No Trace. Throughout the course we revisited the words of Confucius as the Scouts enjoyed experiential learning opportunities and personally connected with the idea "Let me do, and I will understand." The participants were introduced to various methods to minimize our impacts on the outdoors, and each led a lesson covering a different principle or topic for the whole group.

The course was unique in that the participants were representative of both adult and teen members of their Boy Scout troops from around Florida. Each participant developed an action plan to teach Leave No Trace to other members of their troops or councils.

In the first photo, Agata leads a lesson on disposing of waste properly by demonstrating how to dig a cathole. The second photo shows the crew preparing for departure into the Geneva Wilderness Area with a sense of humor and excitement for the trip ahead.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Friday, November 5, 2010

Picture of the Week 11/5/10

Lady Bug Hatch in the HD Mountains (Piedra Wildlife Corridor)
Outside Bayfield, CO

Thursday, November 4, 2010

3 Days + 3 Cities in North Carolina = 88 People Trained in PEAK

We started the week off by meeting with 41 before and after school specialists from Durham Public Schools and training them in the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) program. PEAK is the result of a unique partnership between REI and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to educate children about the outdoors and responsible use of public lands. The Durham Public School system was the first school system in the area to host this type of training and the staff at REI, who made this training possible, are excited to get more school systems involved. The first photo, shows the teachers wrapping up the Minimum Impact Match activity from the PEAK pack.

On Tuesday, we visited the Raleigh REI store to teach their staff and members from the community about the PEAK program. We once again demonstrated how to run Minimum Impact Match and the second photo shows that even seasoned REI staff can have difficulty figuring out what piece of gear they are.

On Wednesday, we presented the PEAK program at the REI in Charlotte. The third photo shows the participants trying out the Rule of Thumb, which is a tool we use to determine the safe distance to observe wildlife.

Thanks to Paul Harwood, Dale Tiska, and Vanessa Gorr for putting these events together.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rock the X in Durango, CO

X Rock is a popular climbing area in Durango, CO. With over 70 routes to climb in an easily accessible area, the impacts on the land are evident. Josh Kling, owner of Kling Mountain Guides, organized the first annual Rock the X cleanup on Saturday October 30th. The cleanup crews were split into three groups. One group took to the rock and placed new anchors to encourage climbers to try new routes. Another group, led by Trails 2000, created a new trail to access some of the more remote climbs in the area. They also restructured an existing trail leading up to the X, making it a more user friendly trail with better drainage. The remaining crew spent hours cleaning up trash in the parking lots and in the climbing area. With more than 30 volunteers at the X, everyone did their part to leave the area better than we found it! Thanks to Josh Kling for inviting the Traveling Trainers to take part in this community event. Keep an eye out for the next Rock the X clean up!
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Iron Eagle Challenge at Georgia Southern University

On Friday, we traveled to Statesboro, Georgia to be a part of the 6th annual Iron Eagle Challenge. This adventure race is held on the campus of Georgia Southern University and requires teams of two to off-road/urban cycle, run/walk, canoe, and conquer many mystery challenges along the way. We were in charge of creating and running Mystery Event #2, so naturally we came up with a version of the Cathole Olympics. We asked the participants to work together to transport a mini Cliff Bar about 50 feet without using their hands. They then had a choice of three cups that represented different depths of catholes, 2-3", 4-6", and 6-8". They had to choose the appropriate depth of cathole and deposit their Cliff Bar into the cup. Check out the slideshow for a few moments from the day!

A special thanks to Jenn Velie for organizing a great event and incorporating Leave No Trace into the race. Thanks also to Doyle and America (a.k.a. Snookie) for helping run an awesome mystery challenge.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, November 1, 2010

Traveling Trainers Join Osprey Packs and Freedom to Roam

On Friday we had the opportunity to join Osprey Packs on a staff outing in the HD Mountains of Southwestern Colorado led by Freedom to Roam. Freedom to Roam is a Denver based non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and commitment about the need for wildlife corridor conservation while setting a new and innovative industry standards for wildlife friendly practices on the ground and in the water. We spent the gorgeous fall day exploring the Piedra Wildlife Corridor, looking for animal tracks and scat. Below is a picture of a black bear track found on our hike.

Julia Kintsch, the Conservation Science Manager for Freedom to Roam, came down from Denver to educate the group about current efforts in wildlife corridor conservation. She was joined by Ryan Demmy Bidwell, Executive Director from Colorado Wild, a non-profit organization that works to protect, preserve, and restore the native plants and animals of the Southern Rocky Mountains, with particular attention given to habitat protection of Colorado's forested, roadless, public lands and other ecologically important areas. The picture below shows Julia and Ryan pointing out the impact of mining in the Piedra Wildlife Corridor. Humans impact wildlife in numerous ways. Oil mining and highways pose significant threats to the migration patterns of wildlife in Colorado. Freedom to Roam and Colorado Wild raise awareness of the issues in an effort to respect wildlife. A special thank you to Sam Mix and Gareth Martins of Osprey Packs for inviting us to partake in this fun and educational day. We look forward to working with Freedom to Roam in the future!
Happy Adventuring...Kate & Tracy