News & Updates

State Advocate Spotlight: Sean Underhill

Elise Robinson - May 23, 2024

Sean Underhill is the Arizona State Advocate and has been very active in spreading Leave No Trace in Prescott and beyond. He joined as a State Advocate last year and has been involved in more than 20 eventsand service projects in the Prescott area. Sean is passionate about educating his community, in which he created a Junior Ranger program along with helping lead Nature Niños. 

We asked Sean about being in nature and his experience as a State Advocate.

How did you first learn about Leave No Trace?
I needed to pick a project for my Parks & Recreation Management Graduate program and was interested in learning positive ways of influencing people to keep their recreational sites clean for others. While exploring northern Arizona, I noticed the Leave No Trace symbol on a city brochure, which inspired me to learn more. Research showed that educational programs are more effective than signs, which led me to create a Junior Ranger outreach program to help teach the Leave No Trace 7 Principles.

Why did you want to become a Leave No Trace State Advocate?
Being a State Advocate has given me more resources and contacts to reach a wider audience and spread the stewardship principles of Leave No Trace. This position enhances my work with the Yavapai County Community Health Services and my volunteer City of Prescott Park Ranger position to increase our community’s physical and mental health by encouraging everyone to get outdoors and enjoy nature. 

Why is Leave No Trace important to you?
When I take my kids outdoors to explore nature, I want them to be able to play in the dirt and not find glass, enjoy the sites without seeing trash, safely view our wildlife and know how to be good caretakers of this borrowed land. The Leave No Trace 7 Principles are a valuable tool to share with others to help us all enjoy the outdoors. 

What is your favorite way to spend time outdoors?
I enjoy exploring with my family and discovering beautiful new sights and interesting creatures. I also like encouraging others to discover the outdoors by working with my community colleagues to provide monthly Nature Niños outreach events.

What is one low-cost or no-cost item you can never go on an adventure without?
A quality refillable water container. As an Army veteran, and growing up in the desert of Yuma, Arizona, the importance of hydration was always emphasized. No matter what container you have, it is important to make sure that you always have enough water for your adventure.

How do you think Leave No Trace practices affect and fit into your everyday life?
The Leave No Trace 7 Principles fit easily into our everyday lives. Nature is not just something “out there”; it is where we live, in our homes and workplaces. Even in our city environments, we can make this world a better place to live by following these guidelines and encouraging others to do the same.

If you are in Arizona and want to get involved, you can email Sean at [email protected]. Interested in getting more involved in your state? Contact your State Advocate here.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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