What is your environmental IQ? Take the online environmental awareness test at www.treadlightly.org. Groups like TreadLightly! offer training in outdoor ethics and responsible recreation. They are looking for financial support as well as volunteers to be Tread Trainers and Tread Lightly! coordinators. Become a member and send a check. Consider hosting an event for your local club. The better educated we are, and the stronger the message the public hears about responsible recreation, the more respect our sport will command.
The Blue Ribbon Coalition (www.sharetrails.org) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving responsible recreational access to public lands. They represent over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members interested in keeping public land accessible to the public, whether that means a mountain bike, snowmobile, motorcycle, personal watercraft, ATV, four-wheeler, horse, or even your hiking boots. If you are concerned about keeping your favorite trail open, you should consider supporting a group that can give us a larger and more organized political voice in Washington.
The Crawl For a Cure (www.crawl4cure.org) is a wheeling event hosted by a couple of Jeep clubs in Minnesota as a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Over the last four years, the event has raised over $120,000 to fight the battle against MS. Local businesses donate prizes, participants collect pledges, and people enjoy an exciting weekend of trail riding at the Iron Range Off Highway Vehicle Park in Gilbert, Minnesota. In each of the last two years, the event raffled off a spiffy trail Jeep to a lucky $10 ticket holder! Get your tickets for next year’s raffle on the website, or make plans to attend yourself.
Individual Jeep clubs find different ways to make a difference in their community. With food and fuel prices as high as they are, some folks need a bit of extra help. If your club can organize a food drive – either simply bringing a few items to the next club meeting or rolling through the neighborhoods asking for contributions – you can make a positive impact in the community.
Speaking of making a positive impact, many clubs help with Toys For Tots drives (www.toysfortots.org) in the holiday season, or organize March of Dimes (www.marchofdimes.org) trail rides to raise money for baby health and wellness. These are just a few ideas for you to ponder. All I ask is that if you’re getting something out of this sport…don’t forget to put something back in. Those great trail memories, and the good times you share with family and friends, are priceless. Do things to make sure the sport has a future so that others can enjoy their own moments somewhere down the trail.
* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.