The Leave No Trace Minnesota Chapter is a state-wide network of individuals and organizations that shares the mission and vision of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, which include Leave No Trace In Every Park, and Leave No Trace For Every Kid. The leadership team is a group of volunteers who work with the State Advocate to strengthen the Leave No Trace network in Minnesota by providing educational outreach and developing collaborative partnerships. Together, we teach people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly by putting the Leave No Trace principles into action and growing a state of outdoor advocates in Minnesota. 


Leave No Trace History

The concept of what is now “Leave No Trace” outdoor ethics originated in the early 1960s with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. With input from the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management the first version of wilderness ethics was created. Eventually NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, was hired to develop a research-based, experiential training program. By the mid-1990s, the federal land agencies decided to establish an independent non-profit organization to further develop and expand Leave No Trace training and education. Today the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has formal agreements with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Association of State Park Directors to integrate and support Leave No Trace programming



The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are not simply rules to follow when enjoying the outdoors. They are ethical principles that guide our decisions as visitors in the wilderness. Leave No Trace Minnesota Chapter works to provide all Minnesotans with education and training to keep natural places beautiful and applying Leave NO Trace principles.


To sustain healthy, vibrant natural lands for all people to enjoy, now and into the future. Every person who ventures outside puts Leave No Trace practices into action.


To protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly.


The broad approaches we will take in order to achieve the goal

1. Make Leave No Trace relevant and accessible for all people who spend time outside (PEOPLE)

2. Make Leave No Trace prominent, relevant and accessible in the outdoors (LANDS)

3. Ensure all outdoor programs/organizations embrace and champion Leave No Trace (COLLABORATION)

4. Organizational Sustainability (SUSTAINABILITY) — an organization that is thriving financially, broadly supported and coupled with strong leadership to ensure our ability to pursue our mission into the future.



  1. Leave No Trace in Every Park.
  2. Leave No Trace for Every Kid.
  3. Every person who ventures outside puts leave no trace practices into action.


There are many ways you can help spread the word about Leave No Trace Minnesota Chapter. Attending trainings like awareness workshops of the online awareness course are good places to start. You can include Leave NOTrace outreach activities at events and host trainings with your organization. You can help online by promoting Leave No Trace on your website and interacting with our Facebook page. Or you can simply volunteer to help at a Leave No Trace event. Once you are ready, completing trainer and master educator courses will certify you to teach others about Leave No Trace. Find out more by contacting the state advocate.


Leave No Trace is a set of ethical principles, supported by a network of volunteer advocates and educators, that guide people in enjoying the outdoors responsibly. The Leave No Trace Minnesota Chapter helps educate and train Minnesotans to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. 


Volunteers, partners, and sponsors are the driving force that keeps the Leave No Trace Minnesota Chapter moving forward. Everyone who volunteers to help is considered a partner and strengthens the Leave No Trace network in Minnesota. Sponsors are Minnesota based businesses and organizations that take partnership to the next level by making a financial or tangible in kind contribution. Some of our current partners and sponsor include:

  • U of M Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
  • Superior Hiking Trail Association
  • USFS Urban Connections Program
  • Wolf Ridge ELC
  • Washington County Park
  • Boy Scouts (BSA)
  • Northern Star Council
  • Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin
  • Hiking The North
  • Campfire Dragon
  • Biffy Bag
  • Hiking Dude 

Contact the state advocate for more information about how you can become a partner or sponsor. 



Greetings from Rita Hussman, the Minnesota State Advocate. I could not be more honored to say that we have been selected as one of three states to pilot a chapter program for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. By “we,” I mean the absolutely awesome group of volunteers, most of whom are Leave No Trace Master Educators, that have collectively made great strides in spreading the Leave No Trace message in our fabulous state.
Outdoor recreation is HUGE in Minnesota. We are very proud of our natural resources. At the top of the list, of course, is the water – after all we are the “Land of 10,000 lakes,” and that number only counts the big lakes! The headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area just might be our greatest claims to water fame, but we also have a total of five National Park Service units to add to our list of incredible outdoor assets! There is no question about how wonderful Minnesota is!
Impact-wise, there is always room for improvement. No one gets into the BWCA without Leave No Trace Education, and there are several Leave No Trace Trainers and Master Educators on staff with the state department of natural resources as well as the National Park Service. We are also fortunate to work with multiple partners and supportive agencies throughout the state. Growing these partnerships and educating more folks about Leave No Trace is what motivates our Minnesota Chapter volunteers to forge forward. We are always seeking new opportunities to bring Leave No Trace to every Minnesotan in every outdoor recreation place.


We would love to hear from you! Wether you have more questions of who we are, how you can volunteer at one of our amazing events, partner with us, or sponsorship, we are hear to answer your questions. Please fill the form below and one our leadership team member will be in contact with you. 



When you use the community page to become a member, a portion of your donation directly supports the work of the Leave No Trace Minnesota Chapter.