Leave no trace | Letter

Last fall I went to a community workshop in the village called “Leave No Trace.” I was very taken with the trainers and the program that promotes making good decisions to protect the environment.

When I learned that the Lopez School did not know about the program, I decided to offer classes to a small group of interested elementary students. I ordered a Promoting Environmental Awareness (PEAK) in Kids lesson plan pack and conducted a 6-week session with 13 kids in grades 1-5 at the Lopez Island Library.

The library grounds became an outdoor classroom as we observed blacktail deer and birds, allowing the kids to practice the principle of “Respect Wildlife” by keeping their distance and staying quiet.

This was just one of many fun and interactive experiences on the seven Leave No Trace principles. The program culminated in a field trip to Odlin County Park where students, a parent and another adult volunteer practiced the principles by evaluating campsites and trails and recreating responsibly. Most of all, they enjoyed the outdoors and gained a greater awareness of our stunning island environment.

I highly recommend the Leave No Trace program for all ages. The excellent training team will be returning to the San Juan Islands on June 17-18 this year. For more information on Leave No Trace and PEAK, visit www.lnt.org.

Beth St. George

Lopez Island