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Leave No Trace Spotlight: Peninsula State Park

May 12, 2023 - The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has selected Peninsula State Park in Door County as a 2023 Spotlight site.

As outdoor areas across the nation continue to be impacted by record visitation, this new initiative from Leave No Trace shines a light on communities who are rising to meet the challenge by providing multi-day, onsite education and stewardship programs.

Set for June 8-10, 2023, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team will be in Door County at Peninsula State Park, joining Peninsula State Park staff, the Friends of Peninsula State Park and Destination Door County to connect with the community through education and outreach and to collaborate on stewardship projects at Peninsula State Park.

“The Spotlight initiative highlights the great steps a community can take to protect an area that they cherish,” according to Dana Watts, the Executive Director of Leave No Trace. “This year the Airbnb Community Fund has made this program possible through a generous grant,” Watts added.

“The three-day Spotlight features workshops for stakeholders and Leave No Trace education for the public at large,” Watts continued. “It also will include opportunities for the community and our Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team, who will be there conducting the initiative, to roll up their sleeves together at the Spotlight site and get some work done,” stated Watts.

Julie Gilbert, President/CEO of Destination Door County said “We are honored to be among the chosen destinations for the Leave No Trace Spotlight initiative this year and look forward to welcoming everyone associated with this event to Door County. It’s also a great opportunity to engage with our local community and help care for one of our beloved parks,” she said.

While the Leave No Trace Spotlight program is national in scope, individual sites are nominated for the program locally. The 15 Spotlight sites selected for 2023 span the country, each with unique environmental challenges and opportunities. “We’re looking forward to this Spotlight spurring thoughtful conversations about community conservation and inspiring action for the future of Door County,” says Morgan Rusnak, Community Engagement Manager at Destination Door County.

To culminate the weekend - and in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day - Leave No Trace and Peninsula State Park will host a park-wide stewardship project on June 10th, aimed at reducing visitor-created impacts through improved trail access and rehabilitating outdoor areas.

Peninsula State Park Naturalist Krista Lutzke says “Leave No Trace is not only an essential aspect of responsible outdoor recreation, but also a powerful reminder of our role as stewards of the natural environment. Every time we take steps to minimize our impact on the natural world, we contribute to the development and growth of our local communities. And in places like Door County where natural beauty abounds, maintaining the delicate balance between recreational use and environmental stewardship becomes even more crucial. So let us all work together to ensure that our valuable outdoor resources are preserved for generations to come, through our commitment to minimizing our impact and loving our public lands gently,” said Lutzke.

Destination Door County (DDC) forged an ongoing  partnership with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in 2020 as a part of DDC’s enhanced tourism management efforts. This partnership weaves the Leave No Trace Seven Principles into the ethos of the organization and models good stewardship practices in Door County, for both visitors and locals alike.


Spotlight Schedule at Peninsula State Park - June 8-10, 2023

All Spotlight events are free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine - check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Find more information at

Thursday, June 8 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Spotlight Social: Stop by the Fish Creek Lot in Peninsula State Park to meet the Leave No Trace team and chat. Kick back with some yard games and grab dinner & drinks from Backbone Food Truck & Sway Brewing Co.

Friday, June 9 | 11:00am - 4:00pm

Leave No Trace Pop-Up @ Eagle Tower: Stop by Eagle Tower to ask questions, win prizes, and learn more about Leave No Trace and Door County. Peninsula State Park Educator staff will be on hand to share information on the Niagara escarpment and the endemic species found within this specialized habitat.

Friday, June 9 | 1:00pm & 3:00pm

Naturalist Guided Hike @ The Sentinel Trail: A park naturalist will lead a short guided hike along the Sentinel Trail, sharing information about native tree species and Leave No Trace ethics.

Friday, June 9 | 7:00pm

Campfire Ethics 101: Join the Leave No Trace team and Warden Couperus for Peninsula’s “Community Campfire'' series at the White Cedar Nature Center amphitheater. Hang out with the Leave No Trace team, park staff, and community members. Enjoy s’mores provided by Destination Door County all while learning about campfire safety and best practices shared by the Leave No Trace team.

Saturday, June 10 | 8:00am - 12:00pm

National Get Outdoors Day Stewardship Project @ Nelson's Point:  It has been a few years since Peninsula was able to coordinate a large-scale volunteer event, so we are thrilled to be organizing the Leave No Trace Spotlight Stewardship Work Day. We’re calling on all interested individuals to join us. By blazing a new trail and helping to clean up the park we will be making a positive difference in the community and helping to improve our natural environment, and access to new areas at the same time. Don't worry if you've never done anything like this before because no experience is necessary. All necessary tools and equipment will be provided, so all you need to bring is your enthusiasm, some comfortable clothes, and a reusable water bottle.


Media Contact - Morgan Rusnak, Community Engagement Manager -

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