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Get out!, Kids will be kids

What’s so bad about leaving a trace?

Check out this recent article from Slate:

Kid play zones in parks: Leave no trace inhibits fun and bonding with nature.

It brings up some interesting points: Can there be a balance to experiencing nature – and the risks to the place that come with that – and protecting it? Can a child learn to love the woods from the trail? What if every person who visited a National Park took a flower, or a pinecone, or a rock? Does that place lose its magic? Or do more people truly get to experience/remember that magic?

My first reaction is that these parks are protected for a reason. As my parents always said when telling me to be careful, or presenting a new rule, “It’s not YOU we’re worried about.” What they meant is that they trusted me, but they worried about the other drivers, skiers, soccer players, teenage girls, etc. out there. In other words: Rangers can’t be expected to know the intentions and behavior of each and every visitor, and we’ve all seen enough litter and graffiti to know that not everyone makes good decisions.

My second reaction: John Muir didn’t exactly stay on the trail.

What say you?

About Ashley

Marketing Manager / Dishwasher at Camp Stevens. CT '99!


One thought on “What’s so bad about leaving a trace?

  1. Yesterday on a hike with Eliot (age almost 6), in an effort to keep him engaged and not focused on being hungry or tired, I encouraged a game of “see how many different leaves you can pick.” As the words came out of my mouth I was aware of how not “leave no trace” they were and worried that my adult cohort would notice the non-eco-friendly game I’d started. But the more I thought about it, and the more Eliot engaged with the plants in imaginative ways, the more convinced I was that the leaf picking was – on the whole – harmless to the ecosystem and the benefits of education, fun, and exposure to nature were totally worth it.


    Posted by Beth | June 18, 2014, 3:37 pm

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