Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Little Rock, AR
Located just west of Little Rock, Arkansas, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is 2,356-acre day-use area dedicated to environmental education, outdoor recreation, and preservation. The park provides a natural escape for hikers, cyclists, climbers, anglers, horseback riders, and more. The area sees recreation related impacts including undesignated trails, visitors cutting switchbacks, litter, pet impacts, and graffiti. In 2015, the park was selected to be a Hot Spot and after turnover of key park staff, the Center selected it for a 3-day Hot Spot revisit in 2017. The initial visit focused on leave No Trace community education, awareness and consulting on how to curb visitor impacts. They revisit was designed to build upon the efforts from Leave No Trace’s previous visit and strengthen the park’s minimum impact education programs.
While on-site, the Traveling Trainers hosted a training for Pinnacle Mountain State Park staff. This training gave the new and returning staff an opportunity for deeper engagement with the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace, as well as the chance to learn how to communicate the importance of practicing Leave No Trace skills and ethics. This training best positions staff to educate visitors about the effects of their recreation-related behaviors in a way that will curb negative impacts in the park such as the cutting of switchbacks and improper disposal of pet waste.
The team also spent a day making one-on-one contacts with park visitors. During these contacts, they discussed the importance of practicing minimum impact skills and ethics and how less-than-Leave No Trace practices could have negative impacts on the park’s ecosystem as well as the experience of other visitors.
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