Whether school is letting out soon where you live or whether "school" has been your living room for about eight weeks, an organization called Tread Lightly! has a terrific new online course for young people aged seven and up to prepare them to be responsible and ethical while enjoying the outdoors. Tread Lightly! is a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor recreation through education and stewardship programs. Over the years, they've offered award-winning materials, programs and services as solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing recreation issues. Now, they're bringing those lessons online for free with "teachers" your kids will love learning from.
The program focuses on how kids' actions outdoors now can affect the health and access of the outdoors in the future. The curriculum is built around the Tread Lightly! youth T.R.E.A.D. pledge: Travel on trails; respect animals, plants and people; educate yourself; always be careful with fire; do your part.
Kids are taken through different outdoor scenarios they may encounter by Tread Lightly!’s newly redesigned mascot, Lightfoot, a squirrel originally designed in 2002. Lightfoot is joined by two new friends, Claude the bear and Ranger Jane. When the course is complete, kids can fill out a certificate to show their commitment to protecting outdoor spaces.
“We’re so excited to reintroduce Lightfoot with a more dynamic design that will appeal to a broader age range,” said Danielle Fowles-McNiven, Interim Executive Director of Tread Lightly! “We hope this new look portrays him as a squirrel who likes to get outside with his friends, Claude and Jane.”