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Leave No Trace with the NPS for Earth Day

May 10, 2017

The National Park Service at Great Falls Parks in Virginia invited Powhatan District to educate park visitors about Leave No Trace on Earth Day. Despite rainy, cold weather, National Capital Area Council scouts and scouters from Powhatan, Chain Bridge and Bull Run districts engaged over 260 park visitors in thought-provoking discussions and participatory activities about Leave No Trace and ways to minimize their impact while enjoying the outdoors.

The collaborative effort between Boy Scouts of America and the National Park Service to teach Leave No Trace on Earth Day is a perfect example of the partnership our organizations have had for 100 years. Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh commented that “Some of the best Scouting adventures and moments take place at National Park Service parks, monuments and sites. These special places inspire youth with the wonder of nature and build an appreciation for the outdoors and our nation’s history. That’s why it’s important that the Boy Scouts of America support and partner with the National Park Service as they work to protect and preserve our nation’s natural spaces, a service that is of great value to me, Scouts and volunteers nationwide.”
Leave No Trace is a program with seven principles (below) that offers guidance to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way that avoids human-created impacts.
  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of water properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors
The seven principles of Leave No Trace along with TreadLightly and The Land Ethic are part of the BSA outdoor ethics program, which envisions and describes a way for scouts to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing their impact.