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Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
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The Student Experience

The values that fuel our work in stewardship and sustainability are built into the NOLS student experience. As students spend time in the field, they develop an appreciation for the places they travel through. They experience our planet’s power and beauty, and they understand its fragility. Practicing Leave No Trace is closely tied to classes about land management policy and activities such as writing letters to congressional representatives about wilderness issues.

When all is said and done, our students and graduates are NOLS’ greatest contribution to the environment. NOLS grads are skilled positive leaders with an environmental awareness and a strong ethical foundation. Providing them with the information and experience necessary to serve their communities is our priority.

Sample of Student Service Projects

NOLS Southwest

  • Adopting a section of North Soldier Trail Road in Tucson, Arizona, for litter pick-up and beautification

NOLS Rocky Mountain

  • Trail maintenance in the Wind River Range (removal of logs and rocks from trails)
  • Graffiti removal, derelict fence removal and trail maintenance at Red Rocks
  • Climbing area maintenance at City of Rocks
  • Letter writing on behalf of the Wyoming Range campaign

NOLS Patagonia

  • Working in the greenhouses and orchards that provide students and staff with organic produce.
  • Two- to four-day long backcountry service projects focusing on land stewardship during the Patagonia Year course

NOLS Alaska

  • Planting vegetables in the garden to eat when students return from the field

When all is said and done, our students and graduates are NOLS’ greatest contribution to the environment.
Photo: Pascal Beauvais

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