Maricopa County’s Regional Parks and Recreation Department provides beautiful places for visitors to enjoy, including Lake Pleasant Regional Park. They developed a list of principles to help park visitors become responsible stewards of the land. Below is a list of the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace so everyone who ventures outside can protect and enjoy our open spaces in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.
1. Know Before You Go
Be prepared by reading the most current rules of the area you travel to, using maps so you’ll stay on course. If you bring a pet, remember to bring a leash and a bag to collect dog waste.
2. Stick to Trails and Camp Overnight Right
Stay on designated trails to protect trailside plants and stick to durable surfaces to avoid picking up invasive plant or animal species. Camp only on existing or designated campsites to avoid damaging vegetation. Leave campsites clean after use.
3. Trash Your Trash and Pick Up Poop
The slogan “Pack it in, Pack it out,” pertains here. Put all litter in garbage cans or take it back home. Use bathrooms when available. If not available, bury human waste in a small hole away from water. Pack out disposable diapers and pet poop. Don’t put soap, food, and human or pet waste in lakes and streams.
4. Leave it as You Find It
Take a photograph instead of natural souvenirs. Leave plants, rocks and other items as you find them. Treat living plants with respect and don’t carve, hack or peel plants.
5. Be Careful with Fire
Make sure a campfire is permitted and use existing fire rings that protect the ground. Keep your fire small. Don’t bring firewood from home, buy from a local vendor. Make sure the fire is completely out and cold before you leave. Again, pack out all trash and food.
6. Keep Wildlife Wild
Respect and observe wildlife from a distance and don’t approach or follow them. Bring binoculars. Don’t feed wildlife. Secure your meals and trash.
7. Share Our Trails and Manage Your Pet
Be considerate of others on the trail, keep pets under control and listen to nature. Avoid loud noises, phone calls or yelling. Have fun, but don’t bother others in their own pursuit of outdoor adventures.
Happy boating, hiking and adventuring!
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