I’ve been doing my fair share of hiking recently, and one thing I’ve noticed on the trails is the amount of garbage fellow hikers have left behind. Not only does this tarnish habitats, it’s inconsiderate. Leave No Trace, a non-profit organization formed in 1994, is dedicated to the responsibility of caring for the outdoors.
Their mission is to use the power of science, education and stewardship to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet. “No matter where or why you get outside, it’s yours to protect,” they state on their website, “It’s Your Nature.”
Leave No Trace promotes keeping the trails and the outdoors exactly the way nature intended for them to be. A common term used is “pack it in, pack it out” meaning to leave with everything you originally brought with you, and to not leave any trash behind.
Although Leave No Trace tries to implement the cleanliness of trails from the everyday hiker, they also have various programs and partnerships to help educate people across the country.
The programs include volunteer opportunities, as well as agency partnerships to anyone interested in getting involved. They describe that their partners “believe in the health of wildlife, perpetuation of biodiversity of our natural world and share a commitment to sound science and research. These important partners contribute their voices and resources to further the important work of Leave No Trace.”
As New Paltz is located in a stellar spot, with close proximity to parks and various hiking trails, it’s important to remember to give back to our own environment. We only have one planet, and we have to learn to treat it well.
Leave No Trace has so many wonderful resources and pieces of information about their organization on their website. Whether you’re interested in becoming a partner, volunteering for this welcoming outdoors organization or just want to browse, you can find further information on their website. Together we can work to make the trails cleaner for hikers and save our planet one step at a time.