Leave No Trace in Every Park

What if everyone who stepped into the natural world had an outdoor ethic?


Leave No Trace in Every Park has the goal of ensuring that everyone who steps into the natural world is provided with the tools to develop an outdoor ethic. This bold, multi-year initiative focuses on offering Leave No Trace in setting where it matters most — our shared public lands. Leave No Trace in Every Park incorporates Leave No Trace programs and education into parks, forests and other protected areas across the U.S. The initiative takes many forms from research, interpretive materials, staff and volunteer training, public education initiatives, onsite signs, junior ranger programs, Leave No Trace Hot Spots, Gold Standard Sites and more. 

Each year, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics administers a survey to land managers from various federal agencies across the U.S. to collect data on recreation-related impacts, methods used to address these impacts, implementation of Leave No Trace messaging, and overall perceptions of the effectiveness of Leave No Trace in addressing recreation-related impacts. Below are some of the highlights from last year's survey, which had 210 responses. Responding agencies included the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish & Wildlife Service, state parks, and others such as municipal land management agencies.


The results of the Land Manager survey not only show the types of recreational impacts parks and protected areas across the country are experiencing, they also exemplify the need for Leave No Trace programs and education in these places. The effects of all land managers incorporating Leave No Trace into their various parks, forests, and protected areas has the potential to significantly curb many recreation-related impacts. Recognizing this, the Center's Leave No Trace in Every Park initiative seeks to: 

  1. Bring in-depth, successful Leave No Trace efforts to areas suffering significant impacts through the Hot Spot program
  2. Provide proven, effective Leave No Trace implementation strategies through the development of a resource toolkit for land managers, coming later this year.
  3. Recognize agencies comprehensively using Leave No Trace as Gold Standard Sites
  4. Empower and mobilize Leave No Trace supporters, individuals, youth, and educators around the country seeking volunteer opportunities through our Citizen Science efforts
  5. Utilize the Center's own targeted and robust research efforts to better inform agency management decision

Thanks to REI and KEEN for their support of the Leave No Trace in Every Park initiative!