Leave No Trace is a global environmental nonprofit that utilizes the power of science, education and stewardship in a mission to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet.
Incorporated in 1994, the Leave No Trace organization was founded to promote sustainable wilderness and backcountry travel but has grown over the last 3 decades to advocate for care, responsibility and stewardship – no matter how or why people are getting outside.
What We Do
Protecting Our Natural Areas: Through a combination of proven education, collaborative science and sustainable outdoor recreation initiatives, Leave No Trace has been a foundational voice guiding people in how to best recreate respectfully and care for outdoor areas. Leave No Trace works to ensure the places we love most will remain healthy, happy and protected for future generations.
How We Work
Leave No Trace is tackling some of the most acute problems facing our natural world due to the ever-increasing impacts from outdoor recreation. By empowering individuals with clear, science-based guidance on how to enjoy their favorite outdoor areas responsibly, Leave No Trace enables a collective effort to protect vulnerable natural areas and wildlife. We are rooted in real-world solutions, on-the-ground experience and collaborative partnerships to advocate for sustainable outdoor recreation.
Major program developments provide quality education while broadening the program's reach, including our: 1) Subaru/Traveling Teams Program, with 3 teams of educators throughout the U.S.; 2) the Leave No Trace Hot Spots program - identifying areas suffering from severe human-related impacts that can thrive again with LNT solutions; 3) PEAK - Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids - that reaches over 100,000 diverse youth annually; 4) Conduct human-recreation impact studies and research; 5) Complex community initiatives for localized support, training & regional volunteerism; 6) International programs, training options & branch organizations; 7) An extensive scholarship program; and 8) designation of Gold Standard Sites - exemplary models of best Leave No Trace practices and education on public lands areas.
Evidence-Based Science & Technology
Science, specifically recreation ecology and human-dimension research, is the foundation of our work. With these tools, we can provide proven education to people and partners looking to follow sustainable, low-impact practices.
Utilizing our community to identify areas that have been "loved-to-death", we can help prevent further impacts and reverse the damage that has already taken place. Join us in Leave No Trace Citizen Science projects to share what impacts you are seeing to make a difference.
Working With Companies and Government Entities
The private sector has a significant influence on how we get outdoors and the gear we utilize. That’s why we're applying our science & expertise to help businesses make better decisions. Additionally, by advocating for investment in educational programs and research, we can unlock new avenues that allow us to scale up our work far beyond what traditional funding can do alone.
Our partnerships with local, state and federal government entities allow us to provide messaging and education to millions of people. As more people plan travel and vacations around outdoor recreation, the more important our work is with tourism groups to ensure the popular natural areas are cared for so they can continue to be appreciated and visited for generations to come.
Partnering with Native Peoples and Local Communities
Lasting stewardship must actively involve the people linked to the lands and areas we seek to protect, and their voices must be foundational to the work we do. We are continually learning and transforming how we show up as a partner and education provider.
Leave No Trace acknowledges that the lands we enjoy through our outdoor activities are the traditional and ancestral lands of Indigenous People and First Nations. Our intention in this acknowledgment is to honor cultural ways of stewarding the land, practiced from ancient times to this day.
Leave No Trace is a member-supported organization that relies on people like you! Not only is individual action essential to outdoor stewardship, but it is also necessary to fund our education efforts and initiatives around Minnesota and beyond. Become a member today to show your dedication to the protection of our outdoor areas.