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, May 31, 2011

Adirondack Mountain Club

Lake Placid, NY -- Over Memorial Day weekend, we had the pleasure of working with program partner the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. Over the course of five days we interacted with hundreds of visitors and ADK staff and even managed to squeeze in over 30 miles of hiking. There were countless of opportunities to talk about Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces since the trails were quite muddy from all the rain this region has been getting over the spring. When it's muddy we encourage people to hike down the middle of the trail to avoid widening the trail and contributing to erosion. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves, and getting muddy, in the mountains!

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, May 30, 2011

Where Will Your Chacos Take You This Summer?

Depending on where you live, there is nothing quite like reconnecting with your Chaco sandals after the hiatus that is winter. Recently, we had the opportunity to spend time connecting with nature on Willipa Bay, WA. During our time there, we observed a bald eagle perched on driftwood, witnessed a black bear rolling around in the sea grass, and were even able to harvest oysters as the tide rolled out! It is a rare experience that we forage for our own food, so undoubtedly our hard work enhanced the flavor of each and every oyster. There is something special about being part of the cycle that brings food to your own table. That escapade was all the more enjoyable with the knowledge that our feet would be well protected because our Chacos would be the main contact with the mysterious sludge that lie beneath our feet. Oh what a day!

Where will your Chacos take you this summer?

Explore Responsibly…Kate and Tracy

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gettin' Crazy with Crazy Creek!

Red Loge, MT. On this glorious Memorial Day weekend, we trust that responsible recreation is taking place all across the country. Team West will be enjoying all of the splendor that beautiful Montana has to offer. The snowfall persists in this region as Beartooth Pass is expected to see one to two feet of fresh powder this weekend! As a result, Bear Tooth Pass will not officially be opening as scheduled. This fact, however, will not stop the celebration that is slated to occur tomorrow from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. at Crazy Creek in Red Lodge, MT. Crazy Creek, a long time supporter of the Leave No Trace program, will have the BBQ fired up, be raffling away prizes, and of course we will be on hand to provide Leave No Trace outreach. Please stop by and join in on the fun if you are in the area. Rumor has it that Bigfoot will be on hand to participate in the festivities.

If your recreating has you enjoying the outdoors in a different region of the country, not to worry- you can still get in on the Crazy Creek action. Crazy Creek is this month's sponsor for the Bigfoot Challenge. Take a few minutes to enter by the end of this weekend and you could potentially win sweet gear from Crazy Creek! It's simple, click here to get yourself entered, it is fast and free! Happy Memorial Day.

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Friday, May 27, 2011

Picture of the Week 5/27/11

A view of the Presidential Range from the Imp Trail. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Thursday, May 26, 2011

White Mountain Day

Camp Dodge, New Hampshire--Earlier this week we had the chance to work alongside two Leave No Trace partners, the National Forest Service and the Appalachian Mountain Club, in preparation for the upcoming 2011 summer season in the White Mountains. The views of the Presidential Range from the training were a little distracting, but the trail crews, backcountry hut staff, and volunteer program guides were stoked to discuss their experiences teaching Leave No Trace in the field. The audience asked great questions about how to introduce the ethics of responsible outdoor recreation with the thousands of visitors they will talk to this season over the course of the day's sessions.

Thanks to Alex Delucia for the invitation to visit with the crews and enjoy the company of so many great friends and supporters of Leave No Trace!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Monday, May 23, 2011

Need a FREE Leave No Trace Activity for Kids?

As Traveling Trainers, we understand the importance of consistently having kids actively engaged in our workshops. By having kids saying, hearing, seeing, and doing, the retention rate of the information will be much higher.

Since 2001, Leave No Trace has been in a partnership with REI to present our youth program called PEAK, Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids, which currently reaches 120,000 youth annually. The program is presented as a “pack” of six activities. Additional activities, a Teen program and materials in Spanish are also available on our on-line store. The PEAK program can be purchased from the Center or is available through the “Packing with PEAK” grant. You could also contact your local State Advocate or REI store to inquire about borrowing a PEAK Pack. Why not try out one of the sample activities available free of cost, which is available on our website. Click here for more information.

As the weather gets warmer, challenge your children or students to a round of Okay or No Way! This activity represents a win-win situation for parents and elementary school teachers. First, the game acts as a catalyst to introducing youth to the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Second, this activity will get your students running around outside to expel some of their end of the school year energy!

Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Team East Visits Troop 163 in Western New York

Webster, New York - Team East had the opportunity to meet with Troop 163 earlier this week to talk about Leave No Trace. The troop was very interested in learning about the seven principles of the program and how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly!

Over the course of the evening the scouts were challenged to make connections between the program and outdoor adventures in the future. The busy summer season ahead will offer many opportunities for Troop 163 to use the principles as guidelines for safe and responsible outdoor recreation!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Memorial Day Excursions Anyone?

Red Lodge, MT. Memorial Day is the holiday that is responsible for unofficially kicking off the summer season. Already five months into 2011, it is evident that time moves quickly, but it is challenging not to revel in the idea of longer days, more sunshine, camping, and grilling out with friends and family.

For many, Memorial Day signals reaching into the depths of the closet to pull out all the gear that so patiently awaited the wintry thaw. Our friends and supporters at Crazy Creek are clinging to winter just a little bit longer. They have invited the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers to the annual pilgrimage of skiers and boarders and others to the opening of Beartooth Pass outside of Red Lodge, MT. Historically, people camp on the roadside and hike over to intense skiing and snowboarding opportunities. We will be set up in the Crazy Creek parking lot on Sunday May 29th , 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Crazy Creek, 1401 S. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT. In addition, there will be drawings for fabulous prizes at the event. Prizes include mapping software, a Beartooth Bike Tour for two, an Adventure Whitewater raft trip for two, Crazy Creek Chairs, “Who Pooped in the Park” books for children, maps and other fun prizes.

Once the sun sets, we will relive the day's activity as we take it easy at the Pollard Hotel. Special thanks to Pollard Hotel for generously donating a room and hosting us for the weekend. If you're ever in Red Lodge, MT, pop in for a relaxing stay!
We look forward to creating new memories that signify the passing of winter and spring and the welcoming of summer. What kind of adventure does Memorial Day weekend hold for you?
Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Camporee Season is Upon Us

Lebanon, PA - This past weekend, we attended our first Boy Scout Camporee of the season at Union Canal Tunnel Park. Over 600 Boys Scouts, Cubs, leaders and parents were in attendance for a day of activities that included an archery range, a BB gun range, a trapping exhibit, fun games, and of course the Leave No Trace station. We spoke with over a 100 scouts and parents and introduced them to the seven principles of Leave No Trace, and found the members of the Pennsylvania Dutch Council excited to learn about the program.

All the best,

Agata and Jason

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mount Rainier Trainer Course

Mount Rainier National Park, WA.

Mount Rainier was designated as the 5th National Park on March 2nd, 1899. The mountain's majestic allure beckons nearly 12,000 people yearly to attempt summiting the 14,410 foot peak. Of all who venture up the rugged glacial terrain, only half experience the exhilaration of success.

This weekend, Team West trained eight of Mount Rainier National Park's Climbing Rangers and two Park Rangers that patrol the most visited area of the park, Paradise. The course highlighted the Authority of the Resource Technique, created by George Wallace, which is a non-confrontational way of approaching visitors that are exhibiting "less than Leave No Trace" behaviors. Through role play and real-life scenarios, the rangers learned the importance of explaining the consequences of these undesirable behaviors to the visitors they encounter, in order to elicit positive behavior change.

The rangers at Mount Rainier work in a fragile alpine ecosystem that requires respect and knowledge of the environment in order to minimize potential impacts on the land. Hats off to our new ranger friends! We wish you a safe and healthy season.
Explore Responsibly...Kate & Tracy

Friday, May 13, 2011

Picture of the Week 5/13/11

Keep Wildlife Wild by not feeding them! Happy Migratory Bird Day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bigfoot Sighting on Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain, NY - Team East caught up with the Big Guy at The North Face Endurance Challenge last weekend to enjoy the sunshine and festive atmosphere of the first endurance challenge of the 2011 season. Bigfoot signed up and and had a lot of fun in the Karno Kids race and for photos and laughs at the finish line!

Be sure to check in your area for the next North Face Endurance Challenge and you could have the chance to meet up with one of the Traveling Trainer teams!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Friday, May 6, 2011

Picture of the week 5/6/11

Bigfoot teaching PEAK principles to elementary students in Ohio.

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The 2011 North Endurance Challenge series

Bear Mountain, NY - Team East and our partner, The North Face, are kicking off the 2011 The North Face Endurance Challenge season this weekend in the Catskill Mountains of New York state. Check out the video to learn more about the event or better yet come on out and visit in person!

All the best,

Jason and Agata

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bigfoot Sightings: Parades of the West

The habitually elusive Bigfoot has recently come out of hiding and graced various communities around the United States with his presence. Sightings are random as they occur at camps, state parks, national parks, schools, universities and even parades! One common theme in the Big Guy's cameo appearances is that the events are always in support of Leave No Trace.

Bigfoot appeared on a balmy evening in Denver, CO this past January in celebration of the parade of lights. In the photo above, Bigfoot was seen at the annual Snowfest parade in Kings Beach, CA. Bigfoot found it very easy to Leave sNOw Trace while enjoying the Tahoe area.

Rumor has it that Bigfoot has made his way up to the Northern Cascade region. There is, of course, speculation that this region of the country is held dear to Bigfoot's heart. Word on the street is that Bigfoot will be joining traveling trainers, Team West, in a parade in Winthrop, WA celebrating 49er Days. The parade is on Saturday at 11 a.m. If you are in the area, please come by and give Bigfoot a high five. Mention this blog and he may even be able to find you a t-shirt with his tag line printed on it. Bigfoot's been doing for years: Leave No Trace. Hope to see you out there!
Explore Responsibly...Kate and Tracy

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cleaning Up Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, OR.
On Sunday, May 1st, we joined Mt. Hood Search and Rescue at Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon to celebrate Earth Day. What better way to give back to nature than to spend a few hours cleaning up trash around the falls! Multnomah Falls is the second highest continuously running waterfall in the country and receives over 2 million visitors annually. With an estimated 10,000 visitors on Sunday alone, this beautiful recreation area is a popular destination for folks from Portland and the surrounding area.

With so many people coming to enjoy the falls, it is imperative people practice Leave No Trace to preserve the quality and integrity of the resource. In the photo below, the search and rescue team returned with copious amounts of trash, including a skateboard!
At our booth, we wowed visitors with statistics on how long items of trash will take to biodegrade in the environment if we do not dispose of waste properly. Consistently people were amazed by the fruit peels (2 years) and the aluminum can (80 years). We encouraged people to Pack It In- Pack It Out whenever they are recreating on lands shared by the public. Every day is Earth Day!

Explore Responsibly...Kate & Tracy