Dave Polivy, the owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach, was honored by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics nonprofit as one of its extraordinary member-activists of 2011. Announced on Wednesday, January 28, on the Leave No Trace blog, the honor highlights Polivy’s efforts to promote Leave No Trace principles, as well as those of 10 other member-activists from across the nation, who were selected from some 60 nominees.
Susy Alkaitis, deputy director for Leave No Trace, said the selection is an annual, internal process for the nonprofit. They ask board members, staff, volunteers, and educators to nominate people who have impacted Leave No Trace most in the past year. Polivy’s nomination came from Kate Bullock and Tracy Howard—the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, Team West—who have worked for Leave No Trace since 2008 and collaborated with Polivy on numerous Tahoe events.
“Overwhelmingly, they felt as though he had great energy, was tied into the community, and was passionate about Leave No Trace,” said Alkaitis of Bullock and Howard’s nomination. “He was able to approach Leave No Trace from a lot of perspectives. He was really able to help provide exposure about the Leave No Trace message on many levels.”
Polivy’s involvement with Leave No Trace began in October 2010, when he chose the organization as the beneficiary of a fundraising Facebook campaign. For every new Facebook fan Tahoe Mountain Sports got in a 2-week span (October 13–27, 2010), Polivy donated $1 to Leave No Trace. The fans poured in, tallying more than $700 for Leave No Trace.
From that successful campaign, the collaborations continued. Polivy organized Leave No Trace’s participation in SnowFest 2011, in a partnership with Tahoe Mountain Sports and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, and spearheaded two Leave No Trace awareness trainings, one in the 2010–11 winter season and one in the summer of 2011, as well as a family hiking event.
“Dave was able to help expose and integrate Leave No Trace into the Tahoe community even further,” said Alkaitis. “We are mission-related, and that to us is very meaningful … it makes a big difference. It makes the work we are doing more relevant.”
“I was totally caught by surprise and I am very excited and flattered to be honored,” said Polivy. “I am also humbled by this honor because I thought I was just helping out a good cause, but to think that they as an organization thought I went above and beyond is very humbling.”
Polivy says he chose Leave No Trace as a nonprofit to work with, and to donate to, because he’s been involved with Leave No Trace principles since he took a NOLS course in 1994 and feels obligated to pass on outdoor education and stewardship since his work as an outdoor gear retailer connects him to the outdoors.
“We really felt that Leave No Trace did not have a big presence here in Lake Tahoe,” Polivy said. “And with the lake being one of our nation’s natural jewels, we felt there was a need to heighten the principles of Leave No Trace and we took it upon ourselves to assist in that. Since the whole goal of the environmental community in the region is to improve the health of Lake Tahoe, we felt this was our little part that we could do to help out.”
Polivy plans to continue to spread the Leave No Trace message, and has plans to integrate the principles into the Tahoe Rim Trial Association’s Annual Guide Training this spring. Stay tuned to the Tahoe Mountain Sports blog for announcements on future area Leave No Trace awareness workshops and events.
For more quotes from Dave, see his interview for the TMS blog here: