During our recent visit to the Outdoor Retail Show in Salt Lake City, we became acquainted with an organization called “Clean Trails”. Their message is simple … “What if everyone picked up just one piece of litter?” By encouraging people to care for their favorite outdoor spots and pick up after themselves and others, we will all benefit from the ‘clean trails’ left behind.
The group was started by hiking buddies Steve Jewett and Bill Willoughby after noticing more and more trash being left behind on hiking trails. What started out as a good natured “game” of picking up pieces of trash and ‘calling out’ each other if they “missed” one turned into a community effort with fellow hikers.
Clean Trails is now a sustainable nonprofit organization with a board of directors and a lofty goal to eliminate waste on all trails on public lands throughout the United States. By creating a national system of outdoor stewards for our wild places, they hope to free those places of litter and trash. In all actuality, the goal is reachable if each and every one of us does our part, one piece of trash at a time.
One of their efforts, the ‘Trail Box Project’ (shown in the photo) is a long term plan that will aid hikers in picking up and disposing of trail trash. Click here for Trail Box details.
I spoke with Steve at the show and he emphasized that the group focuses on all types of “trails”, waterways included and how their goals can be reached by helping outdoor lovers become more aware of the small things that can be done to accomplish the larger goal.
Here are some of the group’s objectives:
* Create a national network of trail stewards by 2015.
* Advocate for “Leave No Trace” and enjoying nature responsibly.
* Create awareness of the evils of trash on trails.
* Develop an educational program to eliminate the disposal of litter in our wild spaces.
To learn more, visit their web site … CleanTrails.org. And next time (and every time) you’re hiking or kayaking, pledge to pick up just one piece of trash on your trail.