Let's all work together to Leave It Better 
An invitation from your friends at Explore Brevard 
Each year, millions of pounds of garbage are left behind in America’s forests, streams and rivers by those visiting our public lands. Here in Transylvania, where just over 50% of our county is comprised of public lands (Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway, DuPont State Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park and Headwaters State Park), the problem is particularly acute. 

Which is why Explore Brevard has launched a new educational campaign to help people understand the consequences of littering: how it degrades our natural environment, endangers native plants and animals, and spoils the outdoor experience for all of us.
We’re calling it “Leave It Better,” and the idea is a simple one: to follow the “Leave No Trace Seven Principles” (more on that below), and then go one step further. Whether it's picking up litter wherever you see it, donating your time or money to local organizations making a difference in public lands or taking any other steps to leave our forests and streams better than how you found them. Think of it as a way of saying "thank you" to Mother Nature. 

The innovative campaign consists of multiple short videos, ads and posters that encourages visitors to our county’s treasured woods and water to keep their footprint small and honor the natural beauty that surrounds them. You can check them out here: www.explorebrevard.com/leave-it-better
The “Leave It Better” campaign is inspired by the work of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, founded in 1994, and its mission of promoting seven principles of outdoor responsibility that protect the natural world. The seven principles are: 

1. Plan ahead and prepare
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
3. Dispose of waste properly
4. Leave what you find
5. Minimize campfire impacts
6. Respect wildlife
7. Be considerate of other visitors

Just this month, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics announced a partnership with Visit NC and the North Carolina outdoor recreation industry. This new partnership, the first that Leave No Trace has forged with an East Coast state, will encourage stewardship as part of a post-pandemic tourism strategy both statewide and in Transylvania County.

"Stewardship of our natural wonders ensures a future for the ageless places that define who we are, arouse our awe and make us humble, and turn our sights outward to infinite possibility," said Wit Tuttell, director of VisitNC. "The 'Leave It Better' campaign and our Leave No Trace partnership align beautifully to cultivate a desire to learn and look after the land while we experience its abundant pleasures."

Explore Brevard is proud to partner with public land managers and key area stakeholders to ensure the success of Leave It Better. Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO), a noted western North Carolina outdoor gear and hammock manufacturer, is working closely with us to further the initiative. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn how you could win a super chill ENO hammock in our “Leave It Better” giveaway. 

But the most important partner of all is you. We invite you to spread the word about “Leave It Better” by sharing our videos on your social feeds. 

And when you come to Transylvania County – whether it’s to float the French Broad Riverrope up on Looking Glass Rock, perambulate a trail in Pisgahdirt jump your mountain bike in DuPont or drop a line in the Davidson River – we invite you to be a “Leave It Better” Ambassador. Your example will show the way for others to do the right thing.

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Read the previous Field Notes here

Brought to you by Transylvania County Tourism

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