The Milford, Ohio-based campground chain is the first in the country to join Leave No Trace, a non-profit organization that develops educational programs to help children become better stewards of the environment
Online PR News – 30-May-2011 – – Milford, OH It takes a plastic six-pack holder 100 years to decompose in the natural environment. In the meantime, it poses a danger to wildlife. And what about a soda can? Eighty years. Even a seemly benign orange peel can take anywhere from 30 days to two years to decompose.
These statistics may sound trivial, but when children hear this information, they tend to act more responsibly and take better care of the environment.
Children across the country will have a chance to hear how they can be better stewards of the environment while camping at Jellystone Park Camp Resorts.
Last year, the Milford, Ohio-based family campground chain became the first campground organization in the country to join Leave No Trace, a Boulder, Colo.-based non-profit organization that develops educational programs designed to help children and adults take better care of the environment.
“Our franchisees attended training sessions with Leave No Trace earlier this year, and many of them are now incorporating LNT’s nature based educational programs into their weekend activity schedules,” said Michele Wisher, director of marketing for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks.
The Lake Monroe Jellystone Park in Bloomington, Ind., was one of the first to implement the program.
“It’s been very popular,” said Cheryl Smith, the park’s general manager, adding that she has scheduled nature activity weekends periodically throughout the summer and fall.
Young children typically participate in age-appropriate discussions about the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment. “That’s when they learn how long it takes for different things to decompose in the natural environment,” Smith said, while classes in environmental ethics are offered to teenagers.
“In the environmental ethics class, teens learn about the erosion that takes place when they take shortcuts on hiking trails or the lasting damage that occurs when they carve their names in trees or leave trash behind,” Smith said, adding, “The whole point of this effort is to raise awareness about things we can do to lessen our negative impact on our natural surroundings.”
Other activities include crafts classes in which children make various crafts out of recycled materials, garden activities, in which children plant various trees and shrubs in the campground, and short educational videos, which parks can show before their regular nighttime movies.
Dana Gabriel, who co-owns the Jellystone Park in Swansea, S.C., said her park has already had Earth Day activities and plans to continue to offer additional nature activities based on the Leave No Trace curriculum. “We do as much education as we can with the kids,” she said. “We tell them, ‘If you pack it in, pack it out.’ And we see that this helps produce tidier campers. They start to feel a synergy with the park and we’ll even start to see kids out there picking up after each other.”
About Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts
Launched in 1969, the Jellystone Park system now boasts 75 campgrounds with more than 15,000 campsites in 30 states and three Canadian provinces. Its Camp-Resorts are among the best campgrounds in the industry with a quality reputation for being fun, friendly, clean and customer service-oriented parks. Additionally, each Jellystone Park is themed with Yogi Bear elements providing instant recognition and consumer appeal. It is truly a place “Where You Camp With Friends.”®
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts are franchised through Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Park River Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit http://www.campjellystone.com/.