Bigfoot Inspires Youth: Teaching Leave No Trace through Afterschool Partnerships


  • Peter Ahl Old Dominion University
  • Eddie Hill Old Dominion University
  • Andrew Leary Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
  • Ben Lawhon Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics



youth, Leave No Trace, out of school time, partnerships


This study describes a program developed with the coordination of four agencies to reconnect urban youth to nature by combining the best of each partner. Many urban youth are disconnected from nature. Recent studies show that youth only spend about 15-25 minutes daily outdoors recreating. Youth are now exposed to high-arousing stimuli from technology. Youth who spend time in nature have demonstrated improved test scores, self-discipline and have become more environmentally aware. Out of school time (OST) programs can provide an effective setting for outdoor-based programs. The Leave No Trace for Every Kid educational initiative focuses on educating youth about nature through a values and asset development. Partnering with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the YMCA, a public school, and a local university, an innovative program was launched using the stewardship curriculum in an after-school program.

Author Biography

Eddie Hill, Old Dominion University

Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies


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