During these challenging times of COVID-19, we are itching just as much as you to get outdoors and connect with nature. In fact, one of our core beliefs at the Greenway Trust is that when we are connected with nature, our lives are better. However, as our community comes together to deal with an unprecedented global crisis, it means we need to take unprecedented actions to adjust our behaviors in the interest of public health. We must all work together and #RecreateResponsibly to keep each other safe and ensure that our parks, trails, and forests stay open. 

Information on How to #RecreateResponsibly

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives and caused a great deal of uncertainty, including how we get outdoors. This new set of guidelines will help us protect ourselves, others, and places we love when we adventure outside. Whether you are hiking,  paddling, or riding (a horse, mountain bike, or an ORV), these seven tips offer advice on how to #RecreateResponsibly during this public health crisis:


  1. Know Before you Go – Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a back up plan.
  2. Plan Ahead – Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch, and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
  3. Explore Locally – Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails, and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
  4. Practice Physical Distancing – Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
  5. Play It Safe – Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
  6. Leave No Trace – Respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities. Take all your garbage with you.
  7. Build an Inclusive Outdoors –  Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.



Help the #RecreateResponsibly guidelines reach far and wide. Share your commitment to #RecreateResponsibly by using the hashtag on social media, or download the toolkit and share the guidelines on your own social media channels. You can also check out additional resources for specific user groups.

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Pitch In For National Public Lands Day

The summer of 2020 has set records for recreational usage across the entire state of Washington. While it’s great to see so many people connecting with nature, we are all witnessing the unfortunate impacts that come with overuse, such as an overabundance of trash. The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and our partners have been working hard over the last several months to spread the word about how to #RecreateResponsibly, and we’re excited to present an opportunity for people to get out and make a difference: National Public Lands Day 2020!

Considering the pandemic, we will not be hosting an in-person event in the Middle Fork Valley for National Public Lands Day as in past years. Instead, we’ve transformed this day into a week of giving back through individualized volunteering. This year’s focus will be on a simple individual action we can all take to address a BIG problem: trash. Because what better way to show public lands some love than by cleaning them up?

From September 19-26, we are encouraging individuals to pitch in by (safely) picking up trash from parks, trails, and other outdoor spaces. Because this is focused on individual work, members of the public have the option to stay close to home and pick up litter from a local neighborhood park or take supplies to clean up where they’re already recreating out on the trails. All public lands are important, and they all need our help to keep them beautiful and accessible for future generations.


Alternative Ideas To Do From Home

At the Greenway Trust, we believe that when we are connected with nature, our lives are better. You may not be able to recreate in all the same ways you used to, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without this important element of your life entirely. The recreation community is coming together to support one another and frequently sharing creative ideas for how to get your nature fix during the pandemic. Try out some of the ideas below and check back often . . . we’ll continue to update this list as more resources are created by outdoor enthusiasts like you!

Recreation Planning & Training
Skills & Learning

We’d love to see how you’re connecting with nature from home! Tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and use #mtsgreenway.