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St. Lucie County’s Environmental Resources Staff Encourages Leave No Trace

Post Date:05/22/2020 8:11 AM

With more people self-quarantining during this pandemic, there has been an increase in residents visiting the more than two dozen nature preserves that St. Lucie County has to offer. While this is excellent news; the increase in trash and food waste left behind is not. The county’s Environmental Resources staff reminds people to help keep our preserves pristine by practicing “Leave No Trace” guidelines when visiting natural areas.  

Here are five easy tips to have an enjoyable excursion while being a responsible visitor and practicing Leave No Trace.

  • Plan and prepare for your visit. Be sure to have ample sun protection, plenty of drinking water, and to check the kiosks or maps at each site to know the trails.We recommend using a reusable bottle, wearing a hat, closed-toe shoes and putting on sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Pack In and Pack Out. All items you bring to the preserves, parks or beaches need to be packed back out with you, and this includes any form of trash or food waste. During busy times when staff is stretched thin, trash cans onsite may overflow or wildlife will rummage through the trash bins, scattering litter everywhere, so be the awesome visitor who takes their trash home.
  • Respect. Remember to be respectful and practice social distancing by maintaining a six-foot distance from other hikers or site visitors. This will help protect the quality of everyone’s experience.
  • Dogs Friendly. Dogs and responsible pet owners are welcome to visit any St. Lucie County preserve. If you are bringing your furry friend to enjoy the day with you, remember that all dog waste needs to be picked up and disposed of properly. Be sure to follow leash laws and do not allow your pup to chase or harass wildlife.
  • Leave Nature for Nature. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects in the places you find them and observe all wildlife from a distance. It is best to leave only footprints and take only memories and photos.

Purchased through a voter-approved bond referendum, St. Lucie County manages more than two dozen preserves that encompass 42 miles of trials on roughly 10,000 acres that are open to the public for passive recreation. A list of all St. Lucie County preserves can be found online at www.stluciepreserves.com. For more information on Leave No Trace principles, visit www.lnt.org.

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