Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace, a term that resonates through the world of outdoor adventurers, is a conservation ethic that encourages all of us to minimize our impacts on the natural world when participating in outdoor activities. The Leave No Trace principles serve as a guide to promote responsible outdoor recreation, intending to safeguard our natural spaces for future generations.

Understanding and embracing the principles of Leave No Trace is not only about conservation, but it’s also about respect — respect for nature, wildlife, and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. To help you explore with integrity, we’ll delve into the seven principles of Leave No Trace.

1: Plan Ahead and Prepare

Planning ahead is vital to limit your impact on nature. Learn about the area you’re visiting before setting off. Understand its regulations. Be ready for extreme weather and emergencies. Effective planning ensures a safe journey. It also protects natural resources.

2: Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Always stick to established trails and campsites. Camp 200 feet away from lakes and rivers to protect them. Off-trail? Choose durable surfaces like rocks or gravel. Avoid vegetation or muddy terrain.

3: Dispose of Waste Properly

“Pack it in, pack it out” is a simple, powerful concept. All trash and litter should leave with you. Use designated areas for human waste. If none exist, dig a small hole 200 feet away from water sources.

4: Leave What You Find

Preserve the joy of discovery for others. Don’t pick flowers or move rocks. Don’t disturb historical or cultural artifacts. Leave the environment as you found it.

5: Minimize Campfire Impact

Campfires can cause lasting impacts. If you need a fire, use established fire rings. Keep fires small. Only burn sticks that can be broken by hand. Always make sure the fire is completely out before you leave.

6: Respect Wildlife

Wildlife watching can be thrilling. But remember, we’re guests in their home. Observe from a distance. Never feed them. Feeding wildlife hurts their health and alters their behaviors.

7: Be Considerate of Other Visitors

We share the outdoors with others. Respect this by keeping noise levels down. Yield to other hikers on the trail. Treat others with courtesy and respect.

By embracing these principles, we protect our natural environments. We ensure that future explorers can enjoy vibrant, living landscapes. So venture with care and consideration. Through our actions, we preserve the integrity of our wild spaces. We also inspire others to do the same.

It’s all about outdoor adventures that leave no mark.

Round Hill Appalachian Trail Art Show!

Our 5th Annual Appalachian Trail Art Show is open! You can see works inspired by the A.T. and the beautiful nature in our own backyard submitted by 27 artists of all ages. You can visit our Art Show in person at the Round Hill Arts Center through March 20th or enjoy it online.

We will host a reception at the Arts Center on February 27th from 2pm-4pm and award prizes in 2 categories: Adult and  Student.  Winners will be selected at random. We would like to thank our generous donors Mod Pizza, the Round Hill Arts Center, and Williams Gap Winery.

Round Hill Goes “Native”

Round Hill Goes “Native”

There’s a new garden in town. Stop by the Town Office to see our Virginia Native Plant Garden. The garden was supported by the Town and installed by volunteers with Round Hill Outdoors, Virginia Master Naturalists and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.

Why plant “native”?

Do you like birds? Then you’ll want a host of caterpillars hanging around your house. Do you like to grow veggies? Then you’ll need a few bees in your neighborhood. Here in the U.S., we have a long history of importing plants from distant lands. Some to eat. Some for their looks. The problem is that these exotic plants and our vast expanses of lawn don’t support our bees, birds or other wildlife. 

Even worse, some introduced plants are invasive in our environment. When a plant has few or no insects feeding on them or plants that can’t compete with them, they crowd out native plants. Think garlic mustard, multi-flora rose, barberry, Japanese stilt grass. Add to that all land going under development as shopping centers and housing developments, and we’ve lost a great deal of native habitat. 

So, what can we do? Plant native. Birds and butterflies depend on native plans for food, shelter and reproduction. Our gardens can become sanctuaries for these critters. And that’s not the only benefit of going native. Plants that are naturally adapted to our local soils and climate, will need less fertilizer, water and pesticides–so they’re easier to maintain as they help reduce the chemicals introduced to our habitats.

Using native plants helps preserve the balance and beauty of our natural ecosystems. And it’s not hard to “go native.” Groups like Plant NoVa Natives and Audubon at Home offer abundant advice. Plus, many of our local nurseries carry a selection of Virginia native plants, and we even have an all-native nursery, Watermark Woods, near town.

The Virginia Native Plant Garden will be maintained by Round Hill Outdoors.

Planting Crew

Kathi Hottinger

Jody Brady

Bill Brady

Carol Dennis

B.J. Lecrone