Tread Lightly! Kids
Once upon a time, deep in the beautiful Evergreen Forest lived a family of squirrels. The family’s youngest and most curious member was Lightfoot™, who was always learning new and exciting things about the forest and its creatures. When Lightfoot explored the beauty of Evergreen Forest and its cool clean streams, he would watch the other forest creatures play.
The strangest and most interesting creatures of all were the humans, who had many shiny, brightly colored toys called 4×4’s, motorcycles, ATVs and bicycles. Lightfoot could tell the humans had also been taught to respect others and keep the forest clean. They were careful not to damage the forest when they played with their toys. They always put their litter in trash cans and stayed on the trails. Lightfoot hoped someday he and the humans would be friends.
One day Lightfoot decided he was finally old enough to leave his family in Evergreen Forest and find a new home. He crossed the small stream and followed the river down the canyon. He traveled all day and far into the night, when finally he came to a beautiful lake in a valley he’d never seen before. It was very peaceful as the moon and stars reflected on the calm lake. “This will be my new home,” Lightfoot thought as he set up camp.
The next morning a loud noise jarred Lightfoot awake. Lightfoot opened his eyes and saw an off-highway vehicle not following the rules and driving off the trail. Lightfoot scurried to the top of an oak tree to see what was going on. From there, he could see the off-highway vehicle ignoring other trail rules by splashing through streams and driving up hillsides where there are no roads, having little understanding for the needs of other forest creatures. He was amazed at how careless one human could be. The streams were muddy and the hills had big ruts. Lightfoot’s heart sank. He wondered why this human was not playing nice and taking care of the land.
Then, Lightfoot had an idea. He would help keep all forests as beautiful as Evergreen Forest, where the animals and humans were happy and the streams and air were clean. He knew most humans cared for the land but sometimes they needed a reminder to stay on the trails, cross streams at the right places, pick up litter and leave a good impression on the land.
Lightfoot would follow the TREAD pledge and teach it to others. He’d become “Lightfoot, Friend of the Outdoors,” and “Teacher of the Humans.” He’d travel from forest to desert and all the lands in between to share his teachings with every human he meets. He’d tell them about Evergreen Forest and how to Tread Lightly!®.
Tread Lightly! offers a variety of resources for teaching kids the Tread Lightly! principles:
Youth Outreach Kit – Download and print out our Youth Outreach Kit to help you teach outdoor ethics to kids!
Elementary Curriculum – Tread Lightly! developed its elementary curriculum based on the TREAD Pledge for kids.
On The Right Trail – A Guide to Safety, Etiquette, and Ethics in Outdoor Recreation
Download The Adventures of Lightfoot!
Check out the Coloring Critters coloring book!
Download the Hiking Checklist
Questions or feedback regarding Tread Lightly! Kids, contact: