About once a month we show up at a local trailhead to help spread the word about what we’re doing. We set up a couple of tables and a sign and our capable volunteers man the station for a few hours in the morning and talk to hikers as they head up the trail.
Do you like clean trails?" we ask. Or, in some cases, "Do you like dirty trails?" Because when you put it like that, people are pretty clear about what they want. Simple, easy, and fun!
An estimated 80% of the folks we talk to are willing to grab a bag and help us pick up trash. Many of them also want to volunteer for our Adopt a Trail program, sign up for our monthly newsletter, or help us with future events. Two weeks ago at the Iron Mountain trailhead in the city of Poway, we made contact with about 150 hikers who were interested in joining the cause.
Helping to clean up our trails is an easy sell because after all, who wants to see litter spoiling a beautiful wilderness area? But it’s also because of our fun quotient. We laugh, we joke, spin yarns, tell tall stories, and most importantly, we remember why we’re out on the trail in the first place: because it feels good. Clean Trails is about enjoying the wilderness, the trail, the sunshine and fresh air, and the company of the people we explore it with.
We have a pretty simple ethos: What if every hiker picked up just one piece of litter? We respect the quality of life that comes from personal connections with untrammeled, wild places so our work is pretty simple too. We strive to keep all the trails that lead to our wild places litter-free. Our goal is to promote harmony with the land in a positive and open-minded manner. You see, we're not tree-huggers and we're not cops, just responsible citizens with one singe aim: Clean Trails… everywhere!