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5 Things You Can Do to Be A Better Advocate for the Adirondacks on Social Media

By: Mary Godnick - Adirondack Council Marketing and Communications Associate
Friday, September 20, 2019

As part of the Leave No Trace Hot Spot event in the High Peaks, a select group gathered at the Adirondack Mountain Club's Heart Lake Program Center for training with staff from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and a discussion around how social media affects recreational impacts in the Adirondacks. The gathering focused on developing an ethic around how those who use some of the most influential and powerful online platforms could help those who visit the wildlands of the responsible recreation and stewardship of the Park for future generations.

Monika and David, the Leave No Trace Subaru Traveling Trainers, shared an interactive presentation that encouraged participants to develop an ethic when it comes to sharing our experiences in the Adirondacks.

Participants also had a chance to share their perspectives, give feedback and brainstorm how we could collectively use social media as an educational outreach tool to help people who want to enjoy their Adirondack Park have a safer, more enjoyable experience while protecting the natural resource.

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5 Things You Can do on Social Media

  1. Share the 7 principles, naturally

    Your friends, family and network follow you for a reason. They want to know what you’re up to and what’s on your mind! Include more information about the Leave No Trace Principles and tips for fellow outdoor enthusiasts in your posts and help them protect the places you love. For example, along with sharing a fall foliage photo, include a reminder that during the fall daylight hours are shorter, and to plan ahead and prepare by carrying a flashlight and extra batteries.

  2. Raise up causes

    Use hashtags to join the conversation around human impacts and public lands like #KeepItWild, #LeaveNoTrace and #LeaveNoTraceADK. Be vocal about local and national causes that will help protect the public lands you visit and write letters to the governor, your representatives, legislators, and local government officials. For example, if you share five Instagram posts a week, make one of them about the Endangered Species Act because you care deeply about bald eagles after seeing your first one on a lake last summer.

  3. Share images with meaning

    The Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers talked about the success they’ve seen in sharing interesting educational images on their account. Many people want to know how they can be better recreationists.  And using images that show how and why people can do it is a great way to grab their attention.  Showing reality is also a great way to do this. The perfect photo is great, but it is also interesting to see the “real” view of things. What’s the view behind the shot? What did it take to get you there?

  4. Be kind

    Shaming people who have shared something on social media that does not align with the Leave No Trace Principles or rules and regulations for an area is not the way to make a positive change. By kindly, privately reaching out to someone and sharing the how and the why behind a more responsible way to recreate, we are all more likely to make a better connection to nature and foster a wilderness ethic.

  5. Here, there, everywhere?

    The Leave No Trace Center encourages users to “be mindful” when including geo-tags. This means, in some cases, using general tags to encourage friends to explore a wilderness area or region rather than a specific destination. In other cases, it might mean geotagging a location to show a less-used educational facility that would benefit from more visitors. Before geotagging, take a moment to think about the potential negative impacts to the natural resources that may occur by directing more traffic to an already under-staffed, under-managed and overused area.

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We all have a stake in making sure our national treasure is preserved, no matter how big or small our social media impact may be. Next time you head out in the Adirondacks, or hit “publish” on something that has potential to show the world why the Park is great, think about how you can help others learn how to explore this special place in a way that will support our communities, protect the natural resources, and preserve the wild spirit of the Adirondack Park.


Mary Godnick Adirondack Council

Mary joined the Council in August 2016. As the Marketing and Fund Development Assistant, Mary works with the team to coordinate marketing and fundraising efforts. She develops, manages and implements strategic social media and marketing campaigns to grow the visibility of the Council's efforts. She also works with the Fund Development team in production of materials, mailings and reports to help expand our support to preserve the Park for future generations.

Mary grew up in Harford, NY. She graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Public Relations in May of 2014. Previously, she worked in digital marketing, search engine optimization and social media management. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, gardening, yoga, and enjoying all that the Adirondack Park has to offer.

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