Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Leave No Trace Backyard Sessions

In 2011 the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics introduced a new social activism and environmental stewardship campaign called the Backyard Sessions. Backyard Sessions take many forms, but most of all they bring together and activate local Leave No Trace communities to incorporate Leave No Trace into all of the ways we live and play.

In 2011 the Center has held over 15 Backyard Sessions that were designed to encourage networking among volunteers and partners and included Leave No Trace training and/or outreach. An additional 20 Backyard Sessions were linked to existing service learning opportunities. These sessions incorporated "Leave No Trace Teachable Moments" along the trail in conjunction with a clean up or trail building project and were lead by State Advocates, Master Educators, Trainers, and other volunteers. Over 1,500 people have learned about Leave No Trace since August while participating in these trail projects.

The final 2011 Leave No Trace Backyard Session will be hosted by the Leave No Trace in Maine Steering Committee on December 2, 2011 from 2:00pm - 4:00pm at the LLBean flagship store in Freeport, Maine.

Backyard Sessions in 2012: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics plans to engage our national network of hardworking volunteers and educators in vital outreach.

GOAL: Backyard Sessions hope to inspire volunteerism and motivate people to get more involved with Leave No Trace education and action at the local level.

CALL TO ACTION: The Center wants you to organize a Backyard Session in your Community.

Your role as a Leave No Trace volunteer and educator to help organize Backyard Sessions to teach people about Leave No Trace is critical!

Your valuable assistance is now needed in 2 key ways:

1. Mobilize your network of Leave No Trace supporters, youth groups, schools or others to organize your own outing at a trailhead. Provide a 20-minute introduction to Leave No Trace and then hit the trail with trash bags and gloves for an easy clean up. Look for “Leave No Trace teachable moments” along the way. Tell us about it!

2. Identify and attend outdoor and environmental events in your community and offer a 5-30 minute introduction to Leave No Trace concepts.Whether this is with a small crew at a trailhead on a trail-related service project, with volunteers at a river clean up, a youth event or with a group of multi-day backpackers, we’d like you to locate opportunities in your area (preferably in a natural setting) to help spread Leave No Trace skills and ethics. And one last step: Tell us about it!

How the Center can help you:

1. The Center will give you educational materials, merchandise and Clif bars (as available) to aid in your outreach efforts.

2. If you would like to distribute additional Leave No Trace educational materials, please visit our
Education and Training Resources Page where you can find various items to view, download and print.

3. Use our resources. For a list of Master Educators and partner organizations within your area, please visit your state on the Center’s
Community Page. Contact your Community: State Advocate, other Master Educators and partners in your area to get involved with your outreach.

4. Contact the Center to talk over your plan and to report the work that you have accomplished: 303.442.8222 or email

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