Roads Rivers and Trails

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Tag Archives: Stewardship


Cincinnati Nature Center

What can we say about this place except that we are extremely lucky to have the Cincinnati Nature Center in our city! Over and over again the CNC leads not just our region, but the entire country, in standards for trails, kids programs, play areas, and events.

This has been our stomping ground for trail hikes, nature photography, and conditioning before taking our trips for years now. We LOVE the Cincinnati Nature Center! When inspired by such a place, we feel the calling to give back. Beyond our personal memberships, we have been corporate members of the CNC since 2011 and part of their membership perks program since it began in 2014. This program offers a 10% discount at participating sponsors including RRT when you buy a yearly membership. We are proud sponsors of Hoots and Hops since its inception in 2013, Back to Nature Fundraising donors and attendees since 2012, and Trail Building Volunteer organizers since 2013.

While being members and corporate members we assure that we are doing our part to help the nature center thrive, while ensuring that we have access to pristine trails and invites to super creative and fun events. Back to Nature is one of these events. This is the premier fundraising event for the CNC, which is why we both attend and often donate to the silent auction, offering anything from kayak expeditions to hiking gear packages. In the end, our pockets are not endless. In fact, they more often seem to be filled with holes. That is why some of our best contributions are with our time and resources.

Lending our time to make other CNC events special like the Hoots and Hops events is what makes RRT unique. This is an amazing event with local food and craft brews. What goes better with that combo than a lounge area amongst the trees? RRT brings hammocks and hanging lounge chairs to let guests just “hang out” in between activities. Claiming that hanging out with nature lovers and drinking beer with them is stewardship is kind of cutting it close though.

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RRT is most proud of their leadership in hosting trail building and maintenance volunteer events multiple times a year. We’ve helped cut honeysuckle, correct drainage patterns, fix trail erosion, and strengthen worn trails all while learning proper techniques from a naturalist. The work seems more like play, the people that come out are amazing, and everyone is filled with the satisfaction of volunteering for a cause. If you can make one of our trail building days, I strongly encourage it!

For more information on the Cincinnati Nature Center please visit the link below:

Cincinnati Nature Center

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Little Miami Conservancy

The Little Miami Conservancy is a not-for-profit dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Little Miami River. The conservancy helps settle easements, owns and protects riverfront nature preserves, and provides a balanced approach to economic development and land management.

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Our partnership with the Little Miami Conservancy started in the RRT early years. Since 2011, we have made an effort to use whatever resources we can to support and promote the LMC. We have worked together to share booth space at sport shows, we have donated to fundraising efforts, we have had presentations and exhibits in store to promote a clean and healthy river, and in 2014 we worked with the LMC and Loveland Canoe and Kayak to create and print river maps for the Little Miami River. In 2017 we worked with the conservancy to start a co-sponsored fundraising ad campaign on WVXU radio, increasing the donor base LMC has.

In 2012 and 2013 we worked in joining forces and adding to the conservancy clean river sweep efforts. By 2014, we were ready to host and organize our own efforts. Together with 50 West Canoe and Kayak, we have organized 3-4 events per year to remove trash and debris from the river, spearheaded and led by RRT owner Bryan. Although the river is very clean and healthy, because of its often flooding tributaries, this will always be a continuing effort and one that RRT is committed to. In the fall of 2016 we hosted the first in store fundraiser events for the Conservancy, raising an additional $500 toward their efforts, the event grew to raise over $2,000 in November of 2017. In early 2017 we were happy to announce that we secured a grant for the LMC in the amount of $1,500 from Patagonia.

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Because of our partnership and efforts we have now been the guests of honor and given an “Award of Appreciation” at their yearly dinner in both 2015 and 2016. To further out initiatives; RRT Owner Emily was voted on to the executive board of the Conservancy in the Spring of 2017. One of her earliest projects has been the adoption of a members perks program providing discounts for your LMC membership to outdoor stores like RRT along with canoe and kayaks rental businesses along the Little Miami. If you live near or recreationally enjoy this river, we urge you to contribute to the cause anyway that you can, be it donation of time or money. Contact RRT for the next clean up date or visit the link below to find more information about the conservancy or to make a donation.

Little Miami Conservancy

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Pictures from past events

Outdoor Adventure Clubs

The Green Umbrella, The Ohio River Way, and Paddlefest

In 2011, RRT became corporate sponsors and donors for the Ohio River Way. At the time, the Ohio River Way was also the organizing group behind the Ohio River Paddlefest. Paddlefest is the premier paddling event in the Midwest and sees over 2,000 people paddle their way down the Ohio River. The Ohio River Way was also the leadership behind the Tri-State Guide to the Outdoors, a yearly free publication that highlights the areas outdoor recreation.

Later, the Ohio River Way would be operated as part of the Green Umbrella, a not-for-profit that aims at making Cincinnati one of the 10 most sustainable metro areas by 2020. RRT continued their financial support for the Green Umbrella and their sponsorship of Paddlefest. In 2014 and 2015, RRT donated their efforts to help make the Guide to the Outdoors publication possible. RRT owner Emily became one of the largest content contributors and organizers for the magazine and would see it reach new heights. The Green Umbrella would also host the Great Outdoor Weekend across the tri-state providing over a 100 free opportunities to get outside and experience something new. Since 2012, RRT has sponsored the event and often hosted a free event for participants.

Meanwhile another organization was getting started: the Outdoor Adventure Clubs were formed in 2013 with RRT being one of their very first cooperating partners. The OAC is directed at getting more underserved students into nature by providing free school-based outdoor recreation, education, and conservation opportunities for urban teens. RRT immediately started working with the group, showing up to schools to promote the new club and travelling to different schools to present to club members and get them excited and prepared for outdoor events. RRT has also helped to lead local hiking trips for the inner city youth in the club. Starting in 2017 we’ve began co-sponsoring WVXU radio spots with OAC to raise awareness and fundraising efforts.

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Working with Columbia we were able to secure a grant for the OAC in early 2017 totaling $5,000 of equipment and financing. In April of 2017 we hosted our first annual Fashion Show Fundraising event with Fifty West Brewery to benefit the OAC and raised almost $1,500 and our efforts were doubled in 2018 to raise $3,000!  Today, we continue to be financial sponsors, but also help with gear donations for the club’s events. If you have old outdoor equipment or clothing, please consider donating it to the club through RRT. Any donation is rewarded with a 10% discount on any same day purchases. Look for RRT to join with the OAC through out the year for some significant raffle donations as well; Support the OAC and test your luck with a different outdoor package every month including RRT packages worth hundreds of dollars!

The OAC also adopted Paddlefest for 2016 and looks to expand their outreach and programs. The OAC continues to improve the lives and outlook for hundreds of area youth. Please consider supporting their efforts anyway you can. For more information visit them at the link below.

Outdoor Adventure Clubs

Read “The Ohio River Way Paddlefest” Blog

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Camping and Education Foundation

The Camping and Education Foundation

The Camping and Education Foundation was one of RRT’s first community partners. The Foundation would hold occasional meetings in RRT’s lounge and have RRT owner Emily sit in for feedback. The relationship grew and so did RRT’s involvement with the Foundation, from silent auction donations to working directly with the kids.

The Foundation started to work with local schools like Gamble Montessori along with attendees of Stepping Stones to provide an educational outdoor experience. This experience would include a canoe trip along the Ohio River provided by The Wilderness Inquiry as well as educational stations at city parks along the way. From 2012 to 2014, RRT store owner Bryan would dedicate a week to volunteering with the students in this program. Bryan would set up tents, show them how to purify water using a pump, cook using a backpacker’s stove, and of course he would bring dehydrated meals and ice cream bars for the kids to try afterward. The lesson often ended with each child taking a swing in the hammock.

This has been one of the most rewarding things that I’ve done through RRT” recalls Bryan. “It is amazing to see their excitement to simply crawl into a tent”. It is this kind of experience that drives RRT. Roads Rivers and Trails looks forward to future activities and events that the Foundation holds and to being a lifelong partner. For more information on the Camping and Education Foundation please visit the link below:

Camping and Education Foundation

Read “From the Beginning” Blog

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Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition

The more we personally visit the Red, the more in love with it we become. This place captivates all of its visitors, both hiker and climber alike. We all enjoy the break from the city, where the skies shine bright with stars, the wind and rain have been allowed to carve the landscape, and the true beauty of nature surrounds you. For the adventure seeker it is often the first place we point out for your next weekend jaunt and for the climber it is where to find world class climbing at all levels. The gorge is unique and breathe-taking. It is also precious, delicate, and sometimes dangerous.

It is important to educate the people who want to enjoy these areas and to work our best to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable solutions to our outdoor recreation. That is why RRT makes a strong effort to support the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition. The Coalition focuses on exactly that.

RRT has been a member of the RRGCC since 2015. We support the coalition with our yearly sponsorship and attendance and promotion of their annual Rocktoberfest fundraiser. Still, we wanted to do more for this organization and broaden our fundraising. That is why that same year we designed and created a series of shirts and stickers that celebrate the Red but also have a portion of proceeds that continually contribute to the RRGCC. If you love the Red like we do, I think you’ll appreciate the design and the mission. You can currently find shirts and stickers at RRT, J&H Outfitters, and Quest Outdoors.

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Our fundraising efforts and sponsorship has totaled over $4,000 in contributions so far. If you want to learn more about the RRGCC or their Rocktoberfest festival (which is amazing!) please click the link below:

Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition

Read “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Red River Gorge”

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