Parks are Taking Action to Protect Vital Resources

Ocala National Forest, FL: Trash is an eyesore when hitting the trails! While on the road, we have observed (and picked up) our fair share of other peoples throw away items. Our favorite trails, and public spaces don’t always have to look like a rubbish bin however. In fact, in Juniper Springs Recreation Area land managers have prohibited single use, disposable items on the popular Juniper Springs Run; and guess what? It works!

This pristine paddle enters protected wilderness and is a very unique ecosystem with a gorgeous subtropical climate. It is because of these characteristics that the park decided to prevent any chance of trash or litter from entering this spring fed river run.

While some certainly wonder if this rule is too extreme, it’s hard to argue with the outcome. During our travels we are constantly repackaging our own food and drinks before adventures. Not only does this cut down on the bulk, but it also cuts down on the chances of our trash being left behind, even accidentally.

Even still, when we do hit the trail, stream, river, or mountain we think about how we can help make the place look a little better. While stewardship for the outdoors can come in any shape or size of action, our one constant act is to pick up some litter each time we go outdoors. To do so, we pack along a bag designated for trash (preferably something reusable) and do our best to make sure the trash or recyclables we encounter make their way to the proper receptacle.

On our recent paddle down the Juniper Run we were curious to see if the no trash rule would actually help. We are ecstatic to share that we found absolutely no trash while paddling the run!

Consider repackaging your food each time you head out. Whether in the frontcountry, backcountry, or even our backyards we can all help to prevent unintentional impacts.

Enjoy your world & Leave No Trace,

 

Steph & Andy

Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

Leave No Trace's Stephanie Whatton & Andy Mossey are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Klean Kanteen, and Taxa Outdoors.