Tread Lightly! and Partners Successfully Saturate Nation with Key Educational Signage
Salt Lake City, Utah—January 20, 2015—The national nonprofit Tread Lightly! is celebrating the successful completion of the 3rd year of an interpretive education program aimed at protecting and enhancing access and recreational opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor activities ranging from recreational shooting to off-highway vehicle recreation.
By bringing high quality, research-based educational messages to trailhead kiosks, visitor centers, public shooting areas, campgrounds and other hubs of outdoor recreation, Tread Lightly! is fostering a stronger sense of individual stewardship throughout the nation’s recreation community. The poster program, part of Tread Lightly!’s Respected Access is Open Access campaign, was made possible through grants from the Right Rider Access Fund, Dallas Safari Club, Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (see bottom of post).
“I cannot express what a relief it is to be able to post such a positive message out there,” said Patty VerWiebe, US Forest Service Ranger at the Hiawatha National Forest. “It would have taken many seasons for us to pay for this many signs. I am very grateful and happy that we were able to take advantage of this program that promotes education and awareness so clearly…they are fantastic!”
As of today, Tread Lightly! has produced and delivered nearly 5,000 Outdoor Education Posters across 44 states at no cost to the recipient. Public agencies, enthusiast clubs and Boy Scout troops that submitted requests for these posters were able to customize each print using issue-specific messages and recreation tips. A QR code could even be added directing scanners to designated route maps.
Statistics gathered from each recipient suggest the posters distributed in 2014 will be viewed by more than 10 million people per year.
Messages were pulled from Tread Lightly!’s celebrated Respected Access is Open Access campaign and target multiple outdoor enthusiast groups including hunters, recreational shooters, and equestrians. They also utilized the campaign’s RIDE ON Designated Routes messages to resonate both with off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts and with the 4 out of 5 sportsmen who use OHVs to reach a destination to enjoy activities like hunting and fishing.
“This swift saturation of our crucial messages straight on the ground is unprecedented in our 25 years as a nonprofit,” said Lori McCullough, Tread Lightly!’s executive director. “The feedback we’ve received from the educational poster recipients across the country is phenomenal. As Tread Lightly! continues to add more corporate partners and individual members, our organization’s reach is expanding and recreational access is improving.”
“The posters are a great asset,” said Aaron Angeli, Park Ranger at the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area. “They draw attention and state great practices for people to follow in a non-threatening way. They seem to get more of a draw than the typical finger-shaking, don’t-do-this-or-that type of prints that are more commonly found on such info kiosks.”
Although free posters are not currently available, posters can still be customized and purchased from Tread Lightly!’s website at treadlightly.org/programs/educational-posters-program. An interactive map showing the placement of each poster in the country can also be found at this site.