News & Updates

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2023 Leave No Trace Awards

Faith Overall - October 19, 2023

The Leave No Trace Organization is excited to announce our 2023 Leave No Trace Award Winners. The Leave No Trace Awards honor individuals, agencies, businesses and organizations who are dedicated to furthering the Leave No Trace mission. Through these awards, we celebrate the members of our community who go above and beyond for the Leave No Trace movement and inspire others to do the same. Below are this years award winners.

Leave No Trace Service & Recognition Award 

Sally Anderson at Roxborough State Park: Sally Anderson is a passionate Roxborough State Park Leave No Trace Team member and a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Ambassador. She worked to get Roxborough State Park the Gold Standard Site designation and has helped other outdoor recreation areas to become Gold Standard Sites. Sally created ways to teach others about Leave No Trace through monthly tables at the visitor center, special programming for events, helping teachers develop lesson plans about Leave No Trace, and Workshops throughout the Denver area. Sally planned and organized the first Big Foot Goin’ to Rock the Rox in 2019. This annual event focuses on Leave No Trace and educates 300 – 400 people annually.

Haylan Teel, USDA Forest Service: Haylan Teel has worked as a park ranger and interpreter for many years and has spread Leave No Trace to the national forests where she worked. This summer, she taught a Level 1 Instructor Course to Bighorn National Forest staff. In 2017, Haylan launched the Bighorn National Forest Junior Ranger Program and created an activity booklet. She is enthusiastic about spreading Leave No Trace everywhere, to adults and children, on social media, and as a role model while at work and recreating. Haylan created a sticker to hand out to people she sees practicing good outdoor ethics and creating a more inclusive outdoors.

Leave No Trace Youth Program Award

Cabot Creamery’s Happy Camper Program: Cabot Creamery launched the Happy Camper patch in partnership with REI Co-op and Leave No Trace in June 2023. The Happy Camper patch centers around the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and is sure to inspire and educate explorers of all ages. Participants learn about the principles, gain tips for utilizing them in everyday life, and complete fun activities geared towards getting outside and enjoying the natural landscape. So far, 17,532 kids and counting from 47 states have participated in the program since it launched in June. 84% of those participants are under the age of 10.

Leave No Trace Protected Area of the Year Award 

PA Parks, Forests and Protected Areas
Through a years-long community partnership, the PA Parks and Forests Foundation has worked to include Leave No Trace in all their efforts. This includes utilizing Bigfoot’s Playbook in events with over 3,000 Scouts and implementing Leave No Trace into their 47 partnerships. “By becoming a Leave No Trace partner, and sharing this partnership with our 47 friends groups, we can not only reduce human impacts on our public lands but also help keep visitors and users safer.”

Leave No Trace Community Partner of the Year Award 

Arizona River Runners and Grand Canyon Whitewater: Together these companies are proud and committed stewards of the Leave No Trace principles. Running multi-day river trips through the Grand Canyon, ARR and GCW have gone above and beyond to ensure that all of their guests learn about important Leave No Trace practices that will help protect the delicate canyon ecosystem for generations to come. These companies include Leave No Trace messaging in everything from email campaigns and blogs to conversations before guests arrive and during their time in the canyon. GCW and ARR have been proud partners of Leave No Trace for 17 years and reach an average of 4,000 guests a year.

Steward of the Year Award

Kristen Hernandez: Kristen, a resident of Burbank, CA, has long been committed to giving back to the natural areas she loves. As a climber in the San Fernando Valley, she has focused on the iconic climbing area Stony Point Park. Kristen and her organization, Trail Mothers, regularly conduct clean-ups and Leave No Trace education for climbers and families at the park. Since 2017, Trail Mothers and Kristen have significantly impacted the reduction of litter and graffiti in Stony Point Park and educated thousands on the importance of Leave No Trace practices.

Leave No Trace Course Provider Award 

Landmark Learning: Landmark Learning has been a Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor Course Provider since 2004. Landmark Learning strives for excellence in all of the outdoor training and certifications that it provides, especially Leave No Trace. The staff works hard to provide a high level of Leave No Trace training in different formats and spaces to make Leave No Trace training available to people of all abilities and backgrounds. In addition, the staff are always willing to provide support and feedback on how Leave No Trace training can continue to improve and grow.

Leave No Trace Outdoor Stewardship Inclusivity Award

Outward Bound Adventures: Since 1962, Outward Bound Adventures has worked tirelessly to provide outdoor adventure and environmental education to BIPOC youth and their families. Outward Bound Adventures provides Leave No Trace learning opportunities to its participants through hands-on conservation projects and environmental expeditions. Since its beginning, Outward Bound Adventures has taught over 90,000 people about the importance of being connected to nature and how to protect it through Leave No Trace training and education.

Corporate Partner of the Year Award

KEEN: KEEN Footwear is awarded the Leave No Trace Corporate Partner of the Year due to their unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability in its products and practices. KEEN has been dedicated to supporting Leave No Trace for over 15 years, through initiatives like the KEEN Effect program, which supports grassroots organizations focused on preserving natural spaces. In 2023, KEEN collaborated with Leave No Trace to launch their Pyraneese hiking boot globally, which incorporates the Leave No Trace logo. A portion of the proceeds were donated to support Leave No Trace’s newest and most inclusive Training for All education courses.

Leave No Trace State Advocate of the Year

Michael Garcia, Southern California Advocate: Michael Garcia has been a long-standing Leave No Trace educator and the Southern California State Advocate for nearly four years. Despite starting his Advocate role at the height of the pandemic, he has maintained a positive attitude and eagerness to share Leave No Trace practices in his home state. In his volunteer role, Michael has prioritized furthering the organization’s goal of making Leave No Trace accessible for everyone who spends time outside. One way he is doing this is by connecting with representatives from local native peoples and lands to protect our local National Monument with the education of Leave No Trace principles. In 2023 alone, Michael has dedicated numerous hours to this volunteer position, reaching nearly 1100 individuals in Southern California.

Leave No Trace Destination of the Year Award 

Visit Bend: Committed to educating visitors and residents by making Leave No Trace practices a through-line in its content marketing strategies, Visit Bend is a shining example of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that embodies the Leave No Trace mission. Visit Bend’s role as a leader is further demonstrated through an innovative collaboration with Visit Central Oregon that welcomes all nine affiliate DMOs that share the messaging through the Central Oregon region’s estimated 4.5 million annual visitors. Visit Bend weaves Leave No Trace ethics throughout its marketing efforts, ensuring every photo and video shoot follows the Leave No Trace principles.

Thank you to all our winners for all that you do to support Leave No Trace and take care of our treasured outdoor areas! The 2024 Leave No Trace awards will be announced at our 2024 Global Summit. Keep your eyes out for nominations in the coming months.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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