Building a community with enthusiast groups, support organizations and events.
At the start of many adventures, there are small towns that host visitors from around the country. Whether tourists stay at hotels in the area or eat at a local restaurant, they are contributing to the growing a community. When visiting the parks and trails just past the town, it’s important to bring that sense of community along for the ride.
Public land is something we all share. Whether you like to off-road, mountain bike hike or camp, everyone has a duty to preserve parks and forests for the next trail user and future generations. While we all have an individual stake in public land conservation, it is important to recognize the communities that share these spaces and work together to keep them open, healthy and beautiful. There are many ways to build engage a community to protect these areas. By joining a recreation club, working with locals and talking to others who share the trails and campsites, communities can make a bigger impact than one lone person.
Enthusiast groups and recreation clubs are some of the biggest supporters of public land conservation and stewardship. By joining a club or just supporting a public land stewardship project hosted by one, you can work together to keep a shared area clean and open. Check out a group’s social media or website to find events in your local area.
This is also a great opportunity to branch out and work with other recreation enthusiast groups who share the trail systems you use. All recreationists have a stake in public land conservation. Maybe you aren’t an off-roader, but you can work with a local Jeep club to repair a shared trail in your area.
When visiting a new area, remember to always leave it better than you found it. You are in another community’s backyard. The local communities near popular public land destination thrive from tourism and have a stake in keeping these places open. Help protect public land by engaging local businesses and individuals to support responsible recreation and stewardship projects.
When visiting a new place, ask locals what issues they are seeing and try to proactively work to not further any damage in the area. By checking ahead of time with local land managers, you can find out if the area you want to visit is closed and make a backup plan. Always remember the T.R.E.A.D. principles and be a good steward of your community.