On February 2, at 10a.m., the non-profit group Friends of Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve (FWGP) is hosting the first of two free educational programs titled Leave No Trace. Master naturalist and educator Susan Pratt will provide guidance and ethics training for reducing human impact on public lands.
Pratt’s presentations teach seven principles; to enable the visitors of parks, preserves and public lands to leave the environment the same or better than when they arrived. The consecutive Saturday programs are stand alone, so participants of all ages are invited to attend one or both. The goal is to raise awareness of the outdoor environment and a responsible approach to outdoor activities.
The FWGP confirms that the amount of protected public lands is not growing commensurately with the national population. Human stewardship is essential to conserve these lands and allow them to remain open for hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, camping or any other outdoor activity.
The National Geographic site provides a ticker demonstrating the speed of the world’s population growth and a year-long study of its global effects. The Environmental Protection Agency cites illegal dumping of garbage, from tires and building materials to old boats, as more than an eyesore and damaging to the environment. Indiscriminate disposal of litter as simple as a candy wrapper is an environmental hazard.
Either one or both Saturday sessions with Pratt will raise awareness of all humans’ responsibilities to the world and the actions that conserve its essential biodiversity. The second session is on February 9, at 10a.m., and part of the many FWGP educational programs offered at the preserve throughout the year. It is optional to register in advance by calling 352-447-5439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to aid availability of supporting handouts.