The Bigfoot Trail Youth Stewardship Project is beginning PHASE 1 and working toward the development of inquiry-based curriculum and field trip opportunities for K-12 schools and teachers in rural communities connected by the Bigfoot Trail. The Klamath Mountains, a world biodiversity hotspot, will provide the learning laboratory to engage elementary, middle, and high school students in experiential/place-based learning about topics including watersheds, ecosystems, biodiversity, fire ecology, and climate change.
Michael Kauffmann of the Bigfoot Trail Alliance will serve as the Project Director and he will work with six non-profits across the region. The project will connect rural communities in the Klamath Mountains by creating a durable framework that establishes relationships between non-profit organizations, community partners, local K-12 schools, and colleges.
The communities—while separated by great distances and high mountains—have forests, wild rivers, and trails connecting them. One of the linkages across this vast landscape is a long-distance hiking trail. The Bigfoot Trail is a 360-mile pathway created in 2009 using existing trails and roads, linked together to celebrate the regional conifer diversity. The route has the potential to connect these rural communities both physically and psychically by building a network of groups interested in relationship building between young people from the communities and the wilderness around them while also introducing vocational possibilities to youth across the region.
Much more to come!