A pair of Leave No Trace educators will be in the Tri-Lakes this weekend to offer free training sessions.
Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Kate Bullock and Tracy Howard plan to attend the Adirondack Mountain Club's Winterfest at the Adirondak Loj on Saturday. Then Sunday, they will be at the Paul Smith's VIC for a 10 a.m. workshop and an 11 a.m. hour-long, family-oriented snowshoe hike on the property.
The pair will be teaching the seven principles taught by Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a nonprofit organization based in Boulder, Colo. The principles are as follows: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.
"Our focus is to really encourage responsible use of land shared by the public," Howard said. "So what can we do as individuals out on the trail to help protect the environment around us and be as safe as possible, so that hopefully we can have as much fun as possible in the outdoors as well."
Howard said preparedness and disposing of waste properly will be a big focus of their talks, in a large part because it is now winter.
She said it's important to make "sure that people are well equipped to go outside and also have a good knowledge base of the area that they are going to so that they can think about the different aspects of their trip to consider."
Howard said the programs will be interactive and practical so the knowledge can be applied right away.
On Saturday, the trainers will be at a booth and will likely have games and activities set up for the public.
Sunday will be a more in-depth program that is geared toward any outdoor enthusiasts, especially families.
"The Sunday program is going to be pretty great because we'll have the workshop and then we'll have the opportunity to go outside and put that new knowledge right into practice," Howard said.
Howard and Bullock are among several educators who travel around the continental U.S. teaching Leave No Trace principles to organizations at no cost. The pair is responsible for visiting organizations in the Northeast.
Those intending to attend Sunday's workshop at the VIC should contact Brian McDonnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-327-6241. Participants are asked to bring snowshoes and winter layers. Snowshoes can also be rented at the VIC.
More information about Leave No Trace can be found at www.lnt.org.