Leave No Trace

By Green River Preserve

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an organization that teaches and promotes protection of the outdoors through developing ethics and strategies to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. The Leave No Trace organization strives to broaden the understanding of the environment and how to maintain its health. Through seven principles, people can follow a code of ethics to ensure the protection and growth of the environment, but also personal enjoyment of being in the outdoors.

Green River Preserve practices Leave No Trace ethics and promotes these principles throughout the many summer camp sessions and school programs throughout the year. In particular, Campout is an amazing opportunity to teach kids about Leave No Trace principles in an environment in which they can put it to use. It can often be hard to maintain the focus of a camper when in the middle of the woods, and they are so excited to explore and discover new things. One way to help teach, is to create an interactive activity. Firewood is a necessity to cook pita pizzas and especially to have s’mores. Teaching campers the basics of finding firewood—dead wood, branches that are down and not cutting new branches off, dry wood, and wood that is smaller or about the size of your forearm—can become a race to see who can collect the most firewood; in addition, the campers get the opportunity to roam a little further into the woods.

Anna Ewing