Leave No Trace Campfire Chat

    • Oct 16th: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Registration: Not Required
  • Hosted By: Anthem Go Outside Festival
  • Location: Campfire Stage at the corner of Elm Ave and Jefferson Ave
  • Ages: All Ages

Questions About the Event?

  • Event Lead: Leave No Trace, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Roanoke GO Fest
  • Email: stephanie@roanoke.org
  • Phone: (540) 655-9362

How COVID has impacted the outdoors and the shift from backcountry to frontcountry education.

Many of you have heard of Leave No Trace (LNT), the philosophy used to protect our natural resources and minimize our impact on the environment. However, with the unparalleled increase in outdoor recreation since 2020, our trails, campsites, parks, and rivers are experiencing new levels and types of abuse. This has led LNT educators to shift gears and focus on engaging first-time visitors, everywhere from urban parks to remote backcountry.

Join Elena Miyasato and Jesse Velleu with Leave No Trace and Kathryn Herndon-Powell with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as they discuss the impacts of COVID on the outdoors, the Principles of Leave No Trace, and the work LNT does to educate users around the country about sustainable ways to enjoy the outdoors while protecting these valuable resources.


Subaru/Leave No Trace Team Elena and Jesse met while in graduate school, where Elena was studying ecosystem science & management and Jesse was studying design science. Together, they have traveled across the country in pursuit of their common interest in outdoor sports, recreation, and education. Combining Elena’s background in environmental research and outdoor skills instruction, with Jesse’s communication, media, and problem-solving abilities, they aim to help empower people of all sorts to get outside and Leave No Trace.

Kathryn Herndon-Powell: As the Central Virginia Regional Manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Kathryn Herndon-Powell gets to support Trail projects and programs along 270 miles of the world-famous Appalachian Trail. Spanning from Bland County up to Nelson County, her region includes well-known destinations like the New River, Virginia Triple Crown, and the Three Ridges -- as well as countless lesser-known hidden gems. But Kathryn's very favorite part of her region is the vibrant community of partners who work collaboratively to steward the Trail. That community includes the dedicated volunteers in five trail maintaining clubs, the federal agency personnel whose land the Trail traverses, local communities, and the hiking public. 

Kathryn thru-hiked the A.T. in 2006, and the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010. Around the same time, she also discovered the rewards of trail stewardship while working seasonally as a Backcountry Caretaker on the Long Trail/A.T. in Vermont and a Crew Leader on ATC's storied Konnarock Trail Crew. Nowadays, her hikes are shorter and closer to home -- but no less magical -- as she explores the beauty of the Roanoke Valley with her wife and two small children.