What We do
Tread Lightly! and its partners lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. The scope of our work includes both land and water, and is representative of nearly every form of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and boating. We also have a niche in promoting safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles in the outdoors.
We offer a myriad of programs, trainings and educational material to help educate recreationists across the nation on the importance of treading lightly. Tread Lightly! is also a member-based organization. Without the help and support of our members, we would be unable to deliver award-winning programs and campaigns. Thank you!
Education and Training
Tread Lightly! is the nation’s only source for a full line of motorized and non-motorized outdoor ethics training and education materials. Tread Lightly!’s educational materials include: guidebooks, quick-tip brochures, a hunting education curriculum, an online awareness course, how-to videos, teaching materials, and a line of children’s materials featuring Tread Lightly!’s mascot, a squirrel named Lightfoot®.
In 2003, Tread Lightly! launched its Tread Trainer™ program. Tread Trainer is a train-the-trainer type of program designed to produce a cadre of volunteers promoting Tread Lightly!’s ethic of good personal stewardship across the country.
Communications and Outreach
Tread Lightly!’s positive message of balancing outdoor ethics with recreation has reached more than 200 million people through strategically-designed public service announcements for print, radio, television and the web. More than $1 million in advertising space is donated each year to expose Tread Lightly!’s important issue-related messages. News coverage highlighting Tread Lightly! and its teaching reaches an additional 10 million + people per year.
In 2009, in partnership with America’s most influential hunting, fishing and shooting sports organizations, Tread Lightly! released a comprehensive education and outreach campaign called Respected Access is Open Access. More recently, through a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service, Tread Lightly! created the new RIDE ON Designated Routes educational message to help promote the importance of keeping motorized vehicles only on designated routes and areas open to motorized vehicle use.
Stewardship Projects and Programs
The Restoration for Recreation™ program was designed to keep the great outdoors beautiful, healthy, and accessible by providing much needed resources for backlogged maintenance, along with critical education and communications initiatives to allow for environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation. Importantly, funding for Restoration for Recreation partnerships comes entirely from voluntary contributions from the private sector.
In 2011, under the umbrella of Restoration for Recreation and in partnership with Quadratec, Tread Lightly! created a program to award small, but vitally needed grants to support volunteer maintenance projects or ethics education programs. Tread Lightly! recognizes that one of the best ways to promote responsible outdoor recreation is to get recreationists involved in the care of their favorite recreational areas and espouse an ethic of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s Cleanups by Quadratec are designed to help individuals and clubs organize clean-ups, trail maintenance work days, or conduct ethics education and outreach in their local communities. To read more on the Cleanups by Quadratec grants, click here.