ALTON — Join the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests on Wednesday, April 24, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in celebration of Earth Day to help pick up litter along the trails. The annual Trash Challenge is co-sponsored by the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition, focused on increasing land conservation in the Belknap Range. 

Forest Society staff and BRCC volunteers will split up with other volunteers across main trails to pick up litter. Volunteers can also choose to

participate in citizen science by logging the types of litter they collect

throughout the day with the Litterati App. Learn more by visiting www.litterati.org.

"Volunteers will gain a new perspective of hiking trails by collecting litter along the way to the summit," said Dave Anderson, senior director of education for the Forest Society. "I am sure we will find some interesting and odd items, in addition to the normal trash like bottles and cans, plastic bags, bottle caps, cups, cigarette butts, to name a few. It's really eye awakening for participants to see just how much trash is collected."

Volunteers are encouraged to bring a bag lunch, plenty of water, and work

gloves. The Trash Challenge is free, but please RSVP by visiting

forestsociety.org/event/mount-major-spring-cleaning-earth-day-alton or naturegroupie.org/experiences/mount-major-spring-cleaning-earth-day.

Meet at the Mt. Major parking area and trailhead on Route 11 at 9 a.m. BRCC will have a tent set up with a morning snack and sign-in.

"We are very excited to once again partner with the Forest Society to promote stewardship and encourage the public to protect and care for these lands," said Russ Wilder, BRCC chair.

With more than 80,000 hikers on Mt. Major every year, the trail has seen its share of trash, damage to vegetation, trail erosion, and disturbance to wildlife. As a result, Mt. Major was chosen as one of 19 Hot Spots nationwide to be the focus of training from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Trainers will teach Forest Society staff, partners and volunteers in how to communicate the principals of Leave No Trace to the public. Trainings and outreach will take place during Hotspot Activation Week June 17-24. The goal is to help educate hikers about how to reduce impacts to the environment.  

The principles of Leave No Trace include carrying out everything carried into a hiking area, cleaning up after dogs, and being courteous of other hikers. For more information about the Leave No Trace Hot Spot Program visit www.LNT.org. For more information about Hotspot Week, visit www.forestsociety.org/events in in May.

Made possible by support from the Meredith Village Savings Bank

Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Forest Society will

hire two trail stewards to assist with public outreach and stewardship

efforts during the 2019 season, starting Memorial Day weekend and running through Columbus Day. Trail stewards make Mt. Major a safe, clean, and enjoyable destination for all hikers.

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