Hello Merrell Readers and Happy Earth Month!
It is an exciting time for us here at Women Who Hike and also for me, Nicole, founder here at Women Who Hike, as we head into our fourth year of being an established organization. Last year we became a Leave No Trace community partner and we will celebrate our third year of being a 1% For The Planet Company this summer. Also happening this year are more events and group hikes focused around stewardship and cleaning up our trails. We are also excited to be joining American Hiking Society and Merrell in celebrating National Trails Day on June 1st.
As the founder of a community-based organization I have learned that leading with your values is often the best way to connect with and engage your community. It is also a great way to work alongside with others who share your same target audience and also an opportunity to share one another’s good work. I am personally a member and donor of dozens of organizations. Sometimes knowing who to partner with can be overwhelming. At Women Who Hike we are focused on the three orgs that I mentioned above, and I am going to break them down for you and how you can get involved with each one.
This is currently our most involved partnership at Women Who Hike and one that we earned over time. As a group, a movement and popular hashtag on social media, we know that we are having a significant impact on the trails so last year we became a Leave No Trace community partner. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. Leave No Trace’s mission is to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly, and they teach this by using these 7 Principles:
- Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate to Other Visitors
If you’ve ever been hiking you’ve likely wandered onto a trailhead or public lands that displays the Leave No Trace insignia. Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program and not as a set of rules and regulations. You’ll often hear people in the outdoors say ‘leave it better than you found it’ which is a good way to understand and adopt the 7 principles when you’re hiking, camping or visiting public lands.
So how can you get involved with The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics?
Know and understand the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace. You can also become a member at lnt.org. Your membership will help in providing education at community events, restoring threatened areas, equipping people with high level training and will also ensure that more kids are getting connected to the outdoors too.
1% For The Planet is a global network of businesses, nonprofits and individuals working together for a healthy planet. By bringing dollars and doers together they are creating a space and an opportunity to make the most out of environmental giving. As a 1% For The Planet company, we give every month to a network of or a specific or targeted non-profit organization. 1% For The Planet has it all too! Whether we want to give to clean water, getting girls outside, protecting wildlife, etc., we know that we can tap into the 1% For The Planet network knowing that our dollars are being used for good by interests that we and our entire community can get behind. For every Women Who Hike membership that is sold, 1% of those proceeds go directly into a non-profit organization at 1% For The Planet.
So how can you get involved with 1% For The Planet?
You don’t have to be a business to give back at 1% For The Planet. You can also be an individual member by signing up on their website. As a member, you too will be pledging your 1% and donating directly to environmental nonprofits. There are also membership perks which include connecting with a global community and inspiring others to take action while giving smarter.
And you don’t have to be a member to give back… you can buy from hundreds and thousands of 1% For The Planet companies. Over the years I have started to spot the 1% For The Planet insignia on everything from outdoor gear and clothing to ice cream and soda. You can see the entire list of 1% For The Planet companies by visiting their website.
Last but not least is our newest partnership at Women Who Hike, the American Hiking Society. I am honored to be on the Programs Committee this year where we talk about and brainstorm ways to get people outside hiking and coming together in nature and on our trails. The American Hiking Society is a long-standing nonprofit that is dedicated to preserving trails, the areas that surround them and the hiking experience. They’re working to ensure that all communities are able to enjoy and share the hiking experience while advocating for the protection and expansion of hiking spaces while also fostering trail stewardship. As part of their Programs Community we’re discussing and promoting ways to get more people outside, together. On June 1st we will join them for National Trails Day. National Trails Day is the only nationally coordinated event designed to unite all muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to trails. This year we will have a dozen events and Merrell will be joining us, too! National Trails Day attracts new trail users and helps connect existing trail enthusiasts with local clubs and organizations with the hopes of creating trail advocates and stewards.
So how can you get involved with American Hiking Society?
Join us for an event on National Trails Day! This year National Trails Day will be happening with specific stewardship goals in mind. Events are already being scheduled and you can also create and promote an event of your own. On National Trails Day, which is June 1st, you’ll get to see the hiking community in action with a wide array of trail activities. This day will also connect new trail users and existing trail enthusiasts with local clubs and organizations with the hopes of creating trail advocates and stewards. Check out events that we’re hosting for National Trails Day at womenwhohike.com/grouphikes and other National Trails Day events near you at https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/.