Hiking Heroes VA Patch Article
Originally post on Vienna Patch: https://patch.com/virginia/vienna/hiking-heroes-nodx
Climate change, global warming, rising sea levels. These are all words that have reached the ears of many in the past decade and have consistently made appearances in newspaper headlines. Though there are scientists in the North Pole analyzing the Earth’s environmental patterns and activists protesting, the Earth continues to fall apart day by day. This is because these scientists and activists do not make up enough of the population to sway the state of the globe. The responsibility of preventing the further harms of climate change does not fall on the shoulders of the few but rather the majority. Yet, it seems as though society waits and depends. It waits for a catastrophic event to hurt those closest to them. It depends on others to make up for the change in their inaction.
This is not to say that no one makes the effort to make a change. As schools and social media continue to emphasize the severity of the damage, many have learned how to mitigate their footprint through slight changes in their daily actions. From recycling to using reusable packaging, these changes go a long way but it is challenging to find opportunities beyond these slight habit modifications. Recently, however, a club has opened in 2019 called Hiking Heroes, which provides opportunities for those across the globe to learn and help create an impact.
Hiking Heroes is a student-run non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. From
hosting park clean-ups to fundraisers, it currently has five chapters across the globe. The story of its founding begins with a group of students thrilled to create a hiking club. However, as the club began to recognize the impact of climate change on the hiking trails, the club's focus began to shift toward protecting the environment. What started as an eight member club was able to recruit over 70 students to promote the cause.
Though only 4 years old, Hiking Heroes has initiated various successful ventures that people can still contribute to today. In 2020, Hiking Heroes created the Hiking-Heroes Trash Pick-Up Challenge in an effort to encourage people to enjoy and protect nature even during the pandemic. By the end of 2021, the program rewarded over 20000 hours. Demand for the continuation for this program was so high that the club decided to continue this program today. (https://www.hiking-heroes.org/trash-pick-up-challenge ) That same year, Hiking Heroes also launched their own OneTreePlanted fundraiser. Partnering with OneTreePlanted, Hiking Heroes was able to plant one tree for every dollar raised. By the end of a month, Hiking Heroes was able to donate $1,125.
In addition to these two programs, every year, Hiking Heroes also releases their annual Bulletin, a magazine consisting of articles written by students across the world spreading awareness on environmental issues. The bulletin serves to educate others on the importance of protecting the environment but also how to support the cause. These Bulletins can be found in local libraries and online at: https://www.hiking-heroes.org/bulletin .
Now, Hiking Heroes invites you to join. Whether it is through the Hiking Heroes trash pick-up challenge, donating toward their fundraiser, or contributing work to the Bulletin, all proceeds go toward protecting the environment. It is time to push past the norm. There is no more time to wait and depend. Hiking Heroes has opportunities for those of all ages and occupations but a plant with no water will not grow. It is time to grow our Earth again.
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