The Bowling Green State University Outdoor Program teaches about environmentally sustainable recreation practices. There are many efforts and partnerships that the Outdoor Program works toward in fulfillment of this goal.
Leave No Trace Education
On staff at the Outdoor Program are six Leave No Trace certified trainers. Each year, with the assistance of these leaders, the Outdoor Program offers 20+ awareness workshops. Through this education the Outdoor Program instills the values of environmentally responsible Outdoor Recreation to the participants from Northwest Ohio. From LNT, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is designed to assist outdoor enthusiasts with their decisions about how to reduce their impacts when they hike, camp, picnic, snowshoe, run, bike, hunt, paddle, ride horses, fish, ski or climb. The program educates all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts and techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules and regulations.
Green Initiative Partnerships
The BGSU Outdoor Program partners with the BGSU Sustainability Office to provide educational services during events such as the yearly ECO-fair and Earth Week displays. In addition, the Outdoor Program's Freshman Wilderness Experience is actively involved in promoting other sustainable on-campus programs such as Friday Night Lights, Green Tailgating, and the Orange Bike Program. Another continuing partnership of the Outdoor Program is with the BGSU Student Green Initiative Fund. Through student fees, this program creates a fund that supports green initiatives on campus. By partnering with this fund, the Outdoor Program, through a class project as a component of the 2011 Freshman Wilderness Experience, has increased awareness of the Leave No Trace principles and created a new set as well. This project challenged student to create a new set of Leave No Trace principles that apply to the college campus including descriptions and applications. This new educational model has been submitted to the LNT Center for Outdoor Ethics for review and possible inclusion in future educational programming.
Environmental Service Events
Each year the Outdoor Program and the Office of Campus Sustainability organizes a service event to commemorate Earth Day. This event traditionally includes invasive species removal, trail maintenance, or clean up of a local wildlife area. The event is planned to give those who enjoy these areas year round through our programs the opportunity to give back. Each year these programs net nearly 100 hours of volunteer service to the local community.