Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earth Week in Colorado!

Starting on Earth Day on Sunday in Nederland, the e-tour has been spreading the word about Leave No Trace all over Colorado for Earth Week! It's been a truly beautiful location to talk about environmental stewardship to audiences ranging from interested citizens in Boulder County to high schoolers set on making a difference to elementary school students getting outside for the first time!
Bigfoot at Wild Bear!
To kick off the week, we headed up to the Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center where we joined with other conservation-minded organizations for an Earth Day Celebration! It was awesome to get to talk to youth and adults alike about the outdoors with the Rocky Mountains towering over us. From outdoor enthusiasts excited to learn about new reference cards for Winter Use and Rock Climbing to kids learning the PEAK principles, everyone took home some new information to help make good decisions in the outdoors. Not only that, but our Colorado State Advocate Kristin and famous mascot Bigfoot also were able to make the event!
Quinn and Bigfoot at Earth Day in Nederland, CO!

The next morning, we scrambled over to the Shining Mountain School in Boulder where we got to talk with some high school students before they scattered about town to help out with keeping this beautiful area clean. With this dialed group, we got to focus on the reasons why Leave No Trace is an ethic -- not a set of rules, but a series of personal values and selected responsibilities about how to be a good citizen not of the state or country but of the planet. In addition to cleaning up around their school and community, these students are challenging themselves to take responsibility for the trash that they generate on a daily basis by packing out what they pack in to school just like you would in the backcountry. In this fashion, they become aware of what they are using each and every day and can strive as individuals to minimize their overall impact. We were inspired to get to speak with such dedicated students!
Traveling Trainer Frank with his college friend and now elementary school teacher Mr. Gamble at Wildflower Elementary!
Finally, with a little help from our good friend Bigfoot we got to visit elementary school students both in Boulder and Colorado Springs! The kindergarteners in Boulder got to share some of their favorite activities in the outdoors by drawing pictures for each other. By getting out and connecting with nature, these students are forming the foundations for a life of conservation. The fifth graders in Colorado Springs drilled into a lot of the science behind what happens to trash. They asked the tough questions about the difference between natural products and plastic, recycling and composting, and the effect you can have on animals by carelessly discarding food waste. We're confident that they will take this enthusiasm and inquisitive mindset with them as they head out into the world and start making their own decisions about the actions they take and the impacts they make. Great work Wildflower Wildcats!

Everyday is Earth Day,

Quinn & Frank

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