Earth Day … a whole day dedicated to caring for the earth. Earth is truly a magnificent place. Its resources are unique to this planet. As the only known planet habitable for humans, we must take care of it. Every year, on April 22, the importance of this is brought to the center stage.

Get started by introducing your children to the concept of trail stewardship now and encourage them to be active stewards every time you hike. Some ways you can introduce kids to the idea of trail stewardship are:

  • Read books about a local and national park system, as well as ecologists and conservationists.
  • Study the trails you are going to hike.
  • Focus on Park Rangers (see Hike it Baby’s Ranger Interview Series).
  • Talk about trail volunteers (we call them Trail Heroes).
  • Draw pictures incorporating stewardship ideas.
  • Be mindful about appreciating the work of others along the trail.

Teaching trail stewardship and awareness

Another way to be active trail stewards is to help with trail maintenance and cleanup. Winters can be hard on trails and many will need both cleanup and maintenance come springtime. You can contact your local or state park system to see if they have anything planned, or you can plan your own trail cleanup! Trail cleanup hikes are an amazing way to give back and instill a love of nature in our kids from a very young age. As always, consider trail cleanup safety tips when participating in a trail cleanup.

How to be trail stewards by Jenyfer Patton for Hike it Baby

Check out these previous blog posts for how to make the most of Earth Day by cleaning up and caring for the trails we love so much and raising the bar on trail friendliness.

  1. Hoping to inspire your kiddos this year? Teach your children trail stewardship and raise trail heroes who give back to nature.
  2. You picked out the trail and now you’re prepping your gear … read these tips on how to have a Leave No Trace Adventure.
  3. While on the trail, you might find a few of these tips handy to help you to choose the right path and make less of an impact on the trail system.
  4. Looking for a quick, no-fuss prep for your Earth Day hike? These general tips might be just the ticket to help you have a positive environmental impact.
  5. And let’s be honest … everyone poops. Learn how you can do so on the trail, worry-free.

Whatever hike or Earth Day celebration you choose, just remember: Have fun. Be safe. And share the adventure!

Written by Jenyfer Patton and Katy Severe. Photo by Kristin Hinnant.

Do you have plans to observe Earth Day this year? Share with us in the comments below!



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