Visit Bend announced that it received Leave No Trace’s Destination of the Year Award on Friday for its efforts in protecting the environment.
“This is the first time the award has been given out, and we’re really excited to be the recipients,” Sustainability Director at Visit Bend Serena Gordon said.
Leave No Trace is an international non-profit aimed at reducing human impact on the outdoors.
“They try to educate outdoor users and making sure that those principles are implemented. So pack it out, leave it as you found it, plan ahead. How can we as people recreating outdoors be responsible for our own safety, the safety of others and protecting the ecological places and habitat,” Gordon said.
Visit Bend is the first ever recipient of the award and it stood out among its competition.
“We had some really great finalists. Some from Michigan, some from Florida, some from California. But the team from Visit Bend really demonstrated what it means to be a partner of Leave No Trace and embody the principles of responsible visitations. That’s why they were chosen for this year’s award,” Director of Sustainable Tourism and Partnerships at Leave No Trace Andrew Leary said. “One thing that really set Visit Bend on a high tier, because we had a lot of great qualified folks for this year’s award, was how they’ve been able to weave Leave No Trace’s responsible recreation outdoor practices into the work that they do as a destination marketing organization.”
Visit Bend was the first Destination Marketing Organization in Oregon to partner with Leave No Trace. It has led to visitors seeing consistent messaging of how to keep the great outdoors of Central Oregon clean and protected.