hiking charityIt’s becoming a more prevalent reality that, as the world’s population increases, the expanse of untouched wilderness steadily decreases. Now, before anyone labels me a pessimist or defeatist, I acknowledge that there are several organizations and companies that proactively work to preserve nature and educate others in the importance of doing so. I don’t think anyone can deny that there are those who don’t care, which has led to the clearing of wilderness areas of varying sizes to make room for highways, neighborhoods, or parking lots. I remember a vast, rolling expanse of emerald fields of tall grass that used to stretch for miles behind my uncle’s house, and then vividly recall returning for a visit after a year to discover a cookie-cutter neighborhood where that field once rested. You can do a lot to prevent this fate from befalling your own favorite local hiking spot, though, by purchasing it. Keep reading to learn more.

It may sound far-fetched, but I’m serious; purchase your local wildlife and hiking areas if you want to keep them around for future generations. This task isn’t as simple as 1-2-3, though, and requires a large amount of organization, red tape navigation, and dedicated passion. To start on a good foot, it’s smart to organize a group of people who share your passion for preserving threatened wilderness areas. Tap into resources such as local recreation or conservation clubs to see if anyone is interested in joining your cause.

Passion without direction can be just as fruitless as remaining idle, which is why a solid business plan is crucial. You’ll need to really dive into the financial aspects of a preservation endeavor, including not just your fundraising goal, but also insurance and taxes. You can seek advice or partnerships with national conservation organizations, or even start your own nonprofit with charitable status to help donors write off their contributions.

When it comes to fundraising, the more creative you can get, the better. Car washes just aren’t going to fund purchasing land from a developer, so you’ll want to really think outside the box and get people involved and caring. Tap into your connections and reach out to local businesses for support. You can post the project on an online fundraising site, hold a fundraising party at a local club, organize a 5k, a charity hike along the trail in question, or even get lucky by knowing a t-shirt company who is sympathetic to your cause—the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and determination.

No matter how big or small each step in the process may be, keep supporters and locals updated with press releases or up-to-date postings on your project’s website (this is a must-have). Furthermore, contact your local paper, radio, and television stations for help in reaching a larger audience.

With all the tips outlined above in mind, purchasing your local hiking spot doesn’t seem as far-fetched, does it? When it comes to awareness and pursuing selfless goals, you’ll find that determination is rewarded. It doesn’t take a lot, just a lot of us to make such changes and allow others to share our passions, so reach out and make others feel valued throughout the process. You’ll find it goes a long way!