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Martin Park Nature Center selected as host for national “Leave No Trace” program

Post Date:03/02/2017 10:01 AM

Oklahoma City’s Martin Park Nature Center has been selected as one of 16 parks from across the United States as a Hot Spot for the national “Leave No Trace In Every Park” program for 2017. The Hot Spot education tour was designed by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics as a means to educate people on how to reduce the human impact on nature while enjoying shared outdoor spaces.

Martin Park will host national Leave No Trace representatives for a week’s worth of events that will run March 13-19. Now in its sixth year, the Hot Spot initiative has trained more than 50,000 people through grassroots events across the United States.

“The shared goal of Leave No Trace is to teach park visitors how to enjoy nature and the outdoor world while leaving as small a human footprint as possible,” says Emily Hiatt, park naturalist. “Even things such as sticking to trails, being respectful of plants and animals, and packing out trash can have a lasting impact on ensuring our park lands remain intact for everyone to enjoy.”

The Oklahoma City Leave No Trace Hot Spot events include:

Bigfoot Meet & Greet

Park visitors can learn about the Leave No Trace principles while they search for “Sasquatch” in the Martin Park woods during the Bigfoot Meet & Greet, 4 to 5:30 p.m. March 14-17. The Meet & Greet will take place at Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 West Memorial Road. Free to the public.

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out during this special edition of Martin Park’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt from 1 to 4 p.m. March 18. Search for hidden treasure while learning to protect the environment by using Leave No Trace principles. Lucky visitors may just find gold at the end of the rainbow. The hunt costs $2 per person. Register online at okc.gov/parksignup.

Kayak Trash Pick-Up

Service-minded kayakers can take to the waters on the south shores of Lake Hefner for this Leave No Trace trash pick-up from 5 to 7 p.m. March 18. Experienced kayakers can help collect some of the debris and litter that has made its way onto the Lake Hefner shoreline. Participants may bring their own kayak or borrow one from OKC Kayak (first-come, first-served). Meet at the boat ramp on the south side of Lake Hefner to get started. For more information, call Martin Park at (405) 297-1429.

Boy Scout Stewardship Day

Boy Scouts from the Last Frontier Council will be at Martin Park from 2 to 6 p.m. March 19 to educate visitors about the Leave No Trace principles using interactive display booths. They will be aided by Rangers from the National Park Service. The education outreach project will help participating scouts earn their Stewardship Badge.

In addition to the public programs, Leave No Trace representatives will work with OKC Parks & Recreation staff to present special Hot Spot programs at recreation centers and other park facilities. “By identifying and working with Hot Spots and their communities across the country, Leave No Trace can rapidly move toward recovering and protecting the places we all cherish for generations,” said Dana Watts, Executive Director of Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Parks & Recreation staff hopes the Leave No Trace program will have an impact that reaches beyond Martin Park Nature Center. “The Leave No Trace principles can be applied to any outdoor space, be it a park, lake, river or trail,” said Parks & Recreation Director Doug Kupper. “We hope the Oklahoma City community will embrace these ideas and apply them whenever they visit a local or state park.”

A complete roster of Leave No Trace programs can be found online at online at okc.gov/parks, or by calling Martin Park at (405) 297-1429.

For more information about Leave No Trace Hot Spot and community events visit LNT.org.

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Media Contact
Jennifer McClintock
(405) 297-3903 / (405) 464-9288
jennifer.mcclintock@okc.gov

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