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Jun 20, 2015

San Juan Island, WA: Have you been to a Labyrinth lately? If not, we suggest taking a stroll through your local sacred gateway sometime soon. Many people walk labyrinths for the vibrant rows of natural colors – sunflowers, poppies, asters, and the list goes on.  While some are after the herbs – with the beloved and relaxing scent of lavender dancing through the air, what’s not to like about a Labyrinth? Others are looking for a passage to self-discovery, one that may contain balance and regeneration. There’s no doubt about it, people visit these healing garden spaces for all sorts of reasons. Though, most visitors are not looking for or thinking about how they can Leave No Trace while experiencing a Labyrinth.

This past week, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers West Team had a chance to visit the Whispers of Nature Labyrinth on Lopez Island in Washington. On their visit, the notorious “Pack-it-in, Pack-it-out” Leave No Trace catch phrase caught their eye as they prepared to enter the beautiful path under an archway of Tibetan freedom flags. Now, we should mention that this isn’t just any Labyrinth.

This particular seven circuit Labyrinth was dreamt up by Nick and Susie Teague, a local Lopez Island couple whose roots grow deep into outdoor ethics soil. Nick – a veteran Bureau of Land Management employee has helped to lay the foundation for the development of educational and interpretive projects for use in public, private and academic venues. Nick incorporated Leave No Trace practices into this foundation last year when he worked extensively with the Center on the 2014 San Juan Island Hot Spot. As a result of his efforts, the island communities are motivated and passionate about promoting minimal impact outdoor recreation. Included in these community members are the various Island Youth Conservation Corps, who participate in monthly volunteer projects, working to protect the natural beauty of the fragile coastal ecosystem.

With so much hype about responsible recreation and pure love for their land, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling trainers should not have been surprised as they browsed through the information on the kiosk and came across the familiar, but tailored tips to participate in outdoor ethics at the Labyrinth. Suggestions like:

1.     Walking only, no bikes.

2.     No Pets.

3.     Stay on pathways inside the Labyrinth.

4.     Leave the flowers, plants and herbs for others to enjoy.

5.     Be considerate to others.

6.     And of course the infamous… Pack it in, pack it out.

They wrap up the suggestions by encouraging participants to enjoy their experience and thanking them. By following these guidelines, walkers will help to ensure that the Labyrinth stays open for all to enjoy.

The incorporation of Leave No Trace into the Whispers of Nature Labyrinth is a perfect example of how the science based seven principles are relevant in settings where you least suspect it; And that Leave No Trace extends beyond the backcountry corridors to include all types of recreational users and spaces. So the next time you’re at a skate park, or touring the grounds of a historic estate, or collecting produce at a community garden, get creative, connect with those places and think about how the Leave No Trace principles are applicable.

See you downstream,

Jenna and Sam

Leave No Trace’s Jenna Hanger and Sam Ovett are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

Jun 17, 2015

Jackson, Wyoming: Wilderness Adventures has trips all over the country and world for pre-teens to college students.  With over 80 instructors and 600 participants taking trips down rivers, up mountains, through canyons, and various forests throughout the country, we are proud to have them as an educational partner at Leave No Trace. Last weekend we had the privilege to put on a four-hour awareness workshop for all 80 instructors on how to teach their participants to minimize their impact when they are traveling and camping in the outdoors. Working with WA got us thinking about how important and rewarding it can be to facilitate an awareness workshop for any Master Educators, Trainer, or anybody who is enthusiastic about Leave No Trace.


Here are the top 5 reasons why you should put on an awareness workshop for your community or program. 

1.     You will not only be impacting the people at the workshop with the Leave No Trace message, but you will also know that they will pass it on to their friends, family, and colleagues.

2.     Without dedicated people to teach awareness workshops, the Leave No Trace message only has a limited reach through signage, social media, websites, and literature.

3.     Through experts in certain activities or regions, the Leave No Trace message can be catered to meet certain needs in your area. If you are having trouble with trail conflicts among hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, host an awareness workshop for these groups to learn how to work together.  If there is an increase in fire related impacts among a certain troop, camp, or organization, offer to host a workshop to focus what impacts are effecting your area.

4.     Kids are the future! Taking the time to teach a scout group, school, or youth organization can teach kids to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

5.     Lastly, awareness workshops are fun! Teaching and interacting with people from your community in either an outdoor setting or a classroom will be an enjoyable and inspiring experience. If you make it interactive and fun everyone will learn more and appreciate the message.


Use the following links to help facilitate your next awareness workshop.

·      Awareness Workshop Guidelines

·      How to Run an Awareness Workshop

·      Awareness Workshop Reporting

·      Awareness Workshop Training Certificate

Thanks for reading and remember to be like the Center’s mascot Bigfoot and Leave No Trace.

Pat and TJ - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Central Team

Leave No Trace’s Patrick and Theresa Beezley are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

Jun 15, 2015

York County, PA:  I stare inquisitively at my grandpa as he pauses before descending the porch’s steps: he is patting his chest, checking the back right pocket of his slacks, and with pulled lips, he begins clanking his teeth... then, full steam ahead.  I hop in his truck, closing my eyes to enjoy the sweet coffee aroma that fills my olfactory glands.  My brain begins shooting off memories of all the successful trips we have taken together, all the classified newspaper advertisements we have tracked down.  A quick jerk to the right and a sudden “Watch your feet!” pulls me back.  I stare at the spilled coffee on the floor, trickling down its usual stream and again, I begin thinking about the routine my grandpa, Pop, does before each adventure:  “Pop, what is that silly teeth clanking and booty pat you did back there?”

I remember Pop going into detail about a road trip he took one cold Michigan winter.  How he headed out early, braving the unplowed country roads in desperation to reach the hot Florida sun.  Hours later, he stopped for a coffee refill (half most likely consumed by the floor of the forest green truck) and a hot sandwich--soon realizing, however, he had forgotten...his teeth.  Defeated, he started the long trek back home.  The road trip a complete bust.     

Now, before leaving the house he recites, “I keep my sweetness (sugar and cream) in my heart, my loot in the boot’, and am sure my whites are ready to bite.”  With this routine, Pop is always sure to have everything he needs before heading out—step one to having a successful trip. 

This anecdote came to mind this week as we, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, east central team, were getting ready for a rafting trip down the Youghiogheny River with Precision Rafting Expeditions in Friendsville, Maryland.  We found ourselves singing a tune to be sure we did not “…forget your sunscreen, you’ll be a wrinkly bean//grab your shades or you’re eyes will be thin like blades//you bring the water, you promised my dad you’d care for his daughter.”  It was definitely a laughable song, but, we did not forget a single thing and the trip was a complete success. 

Leave No Trace is not only about what you should do when heading out on the river, going for a hike or taking a bike ride, it is about preparing yourself to ensure a good time—even if you are off to the mall or going to the bank.  We challenge you this week to come up with your own riddle…what things can you take when leaving the house that could benefit you and maybe even the environment. 

Here are some suggestions:

  • Pack a reusable bottle like our Klean Kanteen rather than spending money on a bottled water.  **Did you know, once created, a plastic bottle is on this earth indefinitely.
  • Take a lunch.  It is an easy, inexpensive way to eat healthy and avoid the hangry bug.
  • Bring re-usable grocery bags.  In one month, we have saved approximately 50 plastic bags.  **Plastic bags, at minimum, take 20 years to degrade!
  • Have a favorite thermos?  Some coffee shops and gas stations will give you a discount for using your own thermos/mug, plus it saves on waste. 


Traveling in our Subaru and living out of a tent, we have made a pact to one another and to the world, that we will do our best to minimize waste.  For us, this means planning ahead by taking our own to-go containers into restaurants, using our GSI bowls/plates and silverware instead of throw-away dishes, re-using Ziplocs, and deferring to rags/towels to clean up our messes rather than paper. 

Pop taught me the riddle technique at a young age, but it was not until recently that I realized its importance.  The reason we always successfully found the treasures in the classified section of the newspaper, was because he prepared by calling the sellers before we left, confirming the directions, checking for his wallet, his coffee, and his teeth.  Each week, unfortunate stories are posted in the news section of Backpacker magazine, highlighting adventures gone wrong.  It is generally the case that these adventures gone wrong could have been avoided if proper steps to plan ahead and prepare were taken.  Let us set ourselves up for success. 

Adventure on!

Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson 

P.S. We will be looking for your riddles in the comments!      

Leave No Trace’s Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.


Jun 12, 2015

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, our national mobile education program, are on the move!  The following is a list of training and outreach events they will be attending across the country this summer.  Come test your Leave No Trace knowledge, learn tips & tricks to minimize your impacts when in the outdoors, and get a double high five from the team. We hope to see you at an event!

Check out the Team Calendars - sort by team or by your state for the most up to date event listings.


For more information about these or to attend, visit the event calendar. We hope to see you on the road!




  • High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy
  • Ragnar Trail Relay – Soda Springs
  • Tahoe City’s Concert at Commons Beach – Tahoe City
  • Adventure Dining Guide - Tahoe



  • Ajax Adventure Camp – Aspen
  • Ragnar Trail Relay – Snowmass
  • Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride
  • L.L Bean – Lone Tree
  • Mt. Bierstadt Hot Spot Week – Idaho Springs
  • Rockygrass Festival – Lyons
  • Rocky Mountain Folks Fest – Lyons
  • Colorado BLM – Kremmling
  • New Team Training Week – Boulder
  • Thorne Nature Experience - Boulder



  • Franklin Public Library – Franklin
  • Myles Standish State Forest – Carver
  • Ragnar Trail Relay - Northfield



  • National Order of the Arrow Conference – E. Lansing
  • Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area Hot Spot Week – Manistee
  • Grand Traverse County Parks & Recreation – Traverse City
  • Clear Lake Education Center - Manistique


New Mexico:

  • City of Rio Rancho Cabezon Kamp Rio – Rio Rancho
  • Great Southwest Council, Rio Grande District - Rio Rancho
  • Cibola National Forest – Tijeras
  • Sandia Ranger District – Tijeras


New York:

  • Adirondack Mountain Club Master Educator Course – Lake Placid


North Carolina:

  • Linville Gorge Wilderness Area Hot Spot Week – Marion



  • Appalachian Outfitters - Peninsula



  • Tillamook State Forest Hot Spot Week - Tillamook
  • Wallowa Resources – Enterprise
  • Watershed Festival – Enterprise
  • WFA Course – Portland
  • Memaloose State Park – Mosier
  • Northwest String Summit – North Plains
  • Silver Falls State Park – Sublimity
  • Pacific Crest Trail Days – Cascade Locks
  • Oregon BLM



  • Sarah Heinz House Resident Camp Trainer Course – Ellwood City
  • Stackhouse Park – Johnstown
  • York County Youth Development Center – Wrightsville
  • Appalachian Trail Festival – Waynesboro
  • Rock n River Fest – Delaware Water Gap
  • WFA Course – Pittsburgh
  • Women in the Wilds at Mt. Pisgah – Troy
  • Wildlands Conservancy Summer Camp - Emmaus



  • Goal Zero – Park City
  • Summer Outdoor Retailer – Salt Lake City
  • La Sportiva Mountain Cup – Park City
  • Experticity – Salt Lake City
  • Fjall Raven – Salt Lake City



  • Green Mountain Club – Waterbury



  • San Juan Island Youth Conservation Corps – San Juan Island
  • Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps – San Juan Island
  • San Juan County & Agency Employees – San Juan Island
  • Lopez Island Youth Conservation Corps – Lopez Island
  • Lopez Island Staff & Volunteers – Lopez Island
  • Dugeness National Wildlife Refuge Centennial Kids Day – Sequim
  • Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument Hot Spot Week – Castle Rock


West Virginia:

  • New River Gorge Trainer Course – Glen Jean
  • Outdoor Adventure Fest - Burnwood



  • Grand Teton Lodge – Moose
  • Wilderness Ventures - Jackson



It's going to be a great summer.  Please practice Leave No Trace.