To celebrate National Public Lands Day on September 24, 2022, onX friends and ambassadors like Conrad Anker, Jana Waller, Cody Townsend, Mike Foote, and Luke Takahashi (Co- Founder of WLF Enduro) reflect on how Public Lands have impacted them and encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to do the same. Whether they climb, hunt, ski, run, or off-road–onX and its Ambassadors want to inspire recreationists to enjoy their favorite outdoor places and help steward them, offering a collection of resources to plan individual and group cleanups and support nonprofits who are making an impact.
onX, a pioneer in digital mapping and navigation technology, recently brought together a coalition of hunters, dirt bikers, backcountry skiers, and ultra-runners. The event, called Shared Ground, sparked conversations around how public land is a vital resource for all types of users. Attendees, including onX Ambassadors, realized that by uniting they can achieve more to protect our outdoor experiences than they can as divided groups.
“Public lands have given me a sense of balance, a sense of exploration,” said professional mountaineer, Conrad Anker. “It’s sparked curiosity, it’s given me a place to rejuvenate. Everything I see in life is through the prism of public lands, and I couldn’t see it in any other way. We all own these lands and we all share them. It’s a pretty unique and special thing.”
“You have personal responsibility to take care of that land that you’re enjoying,” said host and producer at Skull Bound TV and onX Hunt Ambassador, Jana Waller. “We as individuals have to remember not to make that big of an imprint on the land. Stewardship also means passing that on, and just getting out there and enjoying it. Because if people enjoy it and understand all the beautiful places they get to go, then they’re going to do what they can to protect it.”
“Community is a pivotal part of maintaining the outdoors,” said WLF Enduro founder and onX Offroad Ambassador, Luke Takahashi. “One of the common threads that connects user groups in the outdoors is really the vision and the hopefulness for sustainability out here.”
National Public Lands Day is the country’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands, but those shared places aren’t always easily identified, nor is it always clear how outdoor enthusiasts can help protect them.
To inspire its audience, onX created an interactive infographic on what types of public lands exist and onX members can use their apps to identify their closest shared landscapes. The company also compiled a list of resources, including the National Environmental Education Foundation’s local event guide, a trail cleanup planning guide, and a Masterclass on organizing a group cleanups. And if volunteering isn’t a possibility, onX shared a few of its favorite outdoor nonprofits, like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and TreadLightly!, who are improving wildlife habitat, leading stewardship efforts, and increasing access to public lands.
In the meantime, onX wants to hear what public lands mean to its community and is asking for stories from shared trails, peaks, and forests. Those who submit will be entered to win a pair of leather onX work gloves to wear on their next trail maintenance or habitat restoration project.
Public lands are part of onX’s DNA. To further celebrate National Public Lands Day, the company is offering its employees a paid “volunteer day off” in September to give back to these shared outdoor spaces. onX is also committed to increasing access to 150,000 acres of public land and building or restoring 150 miles of trails by the end of 2023 through Access and Stewardship Grants. The next round of applications for funding closes on October 16, 2022.
For more information check out: OnxMaps
And lastly, we want to be sure that the onX Access + Stewardship Grants is on your radar. The next round for submissions closes Oct 16, so we’d love to get the word out! Through this process, onX devotes a portion of their sales every year to protect public land access as well as restoring and maintaining trails. These grants are available to clubs, trail associations, and a handful of other types of organizations.