We care about the environment and we know you do too. Our stewardship trips are designed to give back to the community we enjoy exploring so much. Whether cleaning up the shoreline on a cleanup paddle or clearing our trails of debris during a hike, we work hard to leave the environment in a better condition than we found it.

Looking for a way for your employees, student organizations, or group can give back? We’re happy to create a custom stewardship trip for you!

Getting Ready to Go

  1. Complete an Assumption of Risk Form (one for every participant).
  2. Check the weather forecast for the trip location. Set aside the appropriate equipment and clothing for the predicted temperature and conditions.
  3. Review the meeting location address and directions on how to get there.

For Cleanup Paddles:

  • Synthetic, quick-drying pants. Jeans are not recommended.
  • Synthetic, quick-drying t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt.
  • Securely attached footwear (sneakers, water shoes, etc.); flip-flops and crocs are not recommended.
  • A hat with a brim to keep the sun or rain out of your eyes.

For Trail Cleanups:

  • Weather appropriate clothing (preferably non-cotton layers).
  • Hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes appropriate for the terrain.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time for check in. This gives the Trip Leaders enough time to collect Assumption of Risk Forms and start the trip on time.

Venture Outdoors provides multiple directions for accessing the meeting location including GPS coordinates, closest address, Google map link, and driving directions from Pittsburgh. Please review these directions in advance and plan your route to allow ample time for travel and onsite preparation. The Trip Leaders’ cellphone numbers are provided as a courtesy, but they may not be available by phone during check-in. Any necessary contact should be made at least 30 minutes before the trip begins. It is the participant’s responsibility to arrive at the meeting location 15 minutes prior to the start time. Please arrive early as trips cannot be delayed for late arrivals.

Trip Leaders make every attempt to plan routes that include bathroom stops at or near the meeting location or during the trip. The type and availability of facility depends on the time of year and location. Urban settings and many parks offer flush toilets or port-a-johns. Some locations do not have bathroom facilities and participants are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles when going in the woods. The Trip Leader will share specifics about bathroom facilities at the beginning of the outing, and details are often provided in the pre-trip information sheet.

What to Bring on the Trip?

  1. Signed Assumption of Risk Form
  2. Water (plan for one liter for every two hours of activity)
  3. Food (snacks/lunch)
  4. Rain Gear (jacket and pants)
  5. Small daypack
See Stewardship Checklist Here

About the Weather

No! We love being outside in the rain! With the appropriate clothing you can be comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. We encourage participants to pack a rain jacket and pants on all activities because the weather in Southwest PA is variable. It’s smart to keep a towel, change of clothes, spare shoes, and a plastic bag in your car so you’ll have dry clothes for your return trip and a place to stow your damp or wet items. Umbrellas are a great option for urban hikes. Wear the appropriate footwear for the trail or street conditions.

If the Trip Leader determines that trip conditions exceed the group’s comfort level, the trip may be cancelled. If this decision can be made during regular office hours (9 AM -5 PM, Monday-Friday), participants will be called and emailed by staff. If the decision is made outside of regular office hours the Trip Leaders and on-call staff try to decide at least two hours in advance. Weather is variable and the Trip Leader may opt to cancel the outing at the trailhead or make modifications during the trip.

Thunderstorms are a potential cause for trip cancellation. If a trip is canceled due to the weather forecast, participants will be notified.

The Venture Outdoors staff and Trip Leaders monitor local radar and forecasts to assess when, where, and for how long a thunderstorm is predicted to occur and use this information to decide whether to cancel, continue, or modify a trip. For example, a Trip Leader may choose to delay the start of a trip to let a short storm pass, and then continue as planned. He or she may choose to cancel the trip if waiting for the storm to pass will make it difficult to return on time or otherwise negatively impact environmental conditions.

I appreciate Venture Outdoors setting this [Cleanup Paddle} up and giving us an opportunity to keep our environment clean.
- North Park Cleanup Paddle Participant