The City of Phoenix launched a partnership with Leave No Trace America as park rangers met the public at trailheads throughout the city educating people about responsible use of the city’s mountain and desert preserves.
Late April marked the launch of this programme that also included a two-day intensive Leave No Trace course for park rangers by Kate Bullock and Tracy Howard, one of the Subaru-sponsored Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer teams. According to Bullock, “There was high energy and enthusiasm from the rangers and volunteers that we worked with. They were eager to share the Leave No Trace information with their community.” Bullock and Howard spent a total of six days working with City of Phoenix rangers and employees on Leave No Trace programming.
The City of Phoenix sites parking pressures, increased violations of preserve rules, citizen comments, frequent mountain rescues and a 20% growth in preserve users from 2007 to 2008 as the impetus behind the partnership with Leave No Trace America. In addition to resource protection, the City of Phoenix also plans to emphasise Leave No Trace’s principles for planning and safety, trail use and fire prevention awareness.
“The working model the City of Phoenix has established with Leave No Trace America is unique and multifaceted,” according to Dana Watts, the Center’s Executive Director. “We look forward to using this partnership as a demonstration project for future work with municipalities.”
This partnership is another example of Leave No Trace America’s national effort to teach outdoor skills and ethics, as well as help make the critical connection between people and the outdoors.