HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (July 30, 2015) – The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has named the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) a Master Educator Course Provider. As just one of 11 organizations in the United States authorized to lead Master Educator courses, the ATC will offer a variety of Leave No Trace courses to partners, the hiking and outdoor community, and the general public. The courses, which provide participants with an in-depth understanding of Leave No Trace principles, will enable the ATC to educate a greater number of hikers about the importance of proper etiquette and behavior on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).
As a Master Educator course provider, the ATC will be a catalyst for fostering positive change among the hiking and trail communities by offering premier training designed to curb harmful habits. This is ever more important due to the recent release of the movie “Wild” and the upcoming release of “A Walk in the Woods,” which presents the ATC with a great opportunity, but also comes with its own set of challenges, due to the expected increase in usage on the Trail. The ATC will take on these challenges with education and awareness, two of the most important tools at the organization’s disposal to reduce hiker impact and ensure the protection of the Trail and its resources for many years to come.
“The Master Educator course enables the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to educate hikers about Leave No Trace Principles, and qualifies those who complete it to lead the courses themselves,” said Marian Orlousky, northern resource management coordinator for the ATC. “The Leave No Trace Principles will supply you with the information and knowledge you need to enjoy the outdoors in a safe, responsible and gratifying way.”
The Leave No Trace course structure has three tiers devised to educate participants with varying experience and expertise. The one-day Awareness courses are constructed for anyone with an interest in Leave No Trace skills and ethics. The two-day Trainer courses are designed for educators, serious outdoor users and outdoor employees. The five-day comprehensive Master Educator course caters to individuals who are actively teaching backcountry skills and providing outdoor recreation information to other users.
The ATC will offer two Leave No Trace Master Educator courses this year. In 2015 only, courses will be offered at the discounted rate of $400 exclusively for A.T. volunteers, Trail Club and Conservancy members, and agency partners. Beyond 2015, courses will be open to everyone. Over the course of five days, participants gain an in-depth understanding of the “why” behind the seven principles of Leave No Trace, and explore their personal backcountry ethics among fellow A.T. stewards and outdoor professionals.
To enroll in a Leave No Trace Master Educator course or to learn more about upcoming opportunities, e-mail [email protected].
2015 Course Offerings
August 28th – September 1st
Konnarock Base Camp, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, 609 Flat Ridge Road, Sugar Grove, VA 24375
September 14th – 18th
Blackburn Trail Center, 34899 Appalachian Trail Road, Round Hill, VA 20141
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Email: [email protected]