Do you recall where you were June 20th at 5:30 A.M.? Sleeping perhaps? If you were myself, or one of the other 599 motivated outdoor/eco-enthusiasts registered for the full Rachel Carson Trail Challenge, you were about to embark on a 34 mile, one day hiking extravaganza!
Before there was an environmental movement, there was Rachel Carson, ecologist and author, best known for her book Silent Spring (1962). Silent Spring warned the public of the dangers of pesticides and herbicides and other chemicals, in particular, DDT. (rachelcarsontrails.org/about) Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Carson was also an active hiker, bird watcher, and outdoors explorer. Her legacy lives on through her nonprofit organization and a beautiful (challenging!) trail that runs through northeast Pittsburgh.
As seen in the photo above, hundreds are lined up before the crack of dawn to undertake the Carson Trail! Over ten years ago, in 1997, 77 registered with only a total of 24 finishing by the cut-off time. This year, 600 people registered to participate in the full 34-mile one day hiking challenge with a total of 425 who finished! Its popularity has surely skyrocketed in recent years by both word of mouth and growing concern for the environment. Proceeds from registering hikers go to the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy whose goals include raising awareness of the benefits of community trails, getting more people interested in physical activities, getting more people to experience the beauty of our region and the natural world, and helping people see our region as active and vibrant. (rachelcarsontrails.org/about)
If you’re not ready to take on a physical challenge of this nature, register to volunteer at your own local events! This volunteer-based challenge wouldn’t run if people weren’t willing to donate their own time and effort for the greater good. At ModCloth, we like to remain active in the environment and events that promote wellness for ourselves and the earth! You can even find eco-goods on our site! Check out our proactive book, Change The World for Ten Bucks, sip out of a stainless steel water bottle, or tote around a re-purposed leather bag, such as the New South or Perfect Palate Bag. Are there any green feats or challenges that you have taken recently, or plan to participate in the future?
The Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), volunteer-based organization dedicated to the development, protection, and promotion of hiking, biking, and walking trails throughout western Pennsylvania. (rachel carsontrails.org)