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Urban Connections backpacking program comes to ANF

The Allegheny National Forest joined forests nationwide this year to provide urban residents a chance to connect with nature.

Over the summer, individuals from major urban areas visited the forest for the Urban Connections backpacking program. The ANF offered overnight backpacking trips with loaned equipment.

ANF staff lead the trips and provide information on safe and responsible camping in remote areas. The trips are supplemented with informational materials provided by the Forest Service.

The National Forest Services offers the program to residents of Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit with a goal of providing “opportunities to engage in nature-based experiences on public lands.”

“We have a growing team of recreation professionals that are excited about connecting with our communities and forming new partnerships to support the stewardship of our lands,” ANF Recreation Program Manager Jamie Klebanski said in a release. “We owe it to ourselves to find ways to connect with one another, share these benefits with new audiences, and do so in a way that protects the land for future generations.”

The program is offered in collaboration with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ PA Outdoor Corps and the national Leave No Trace program.

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