About World Peace Trails
Peace has always been a passion of Dr. Gail Lash. She grew up drawn to the peace inherent in Nature – its animals, water, rocks, wind, and light. After becoming a biologist, Gail worked in zoos as animal keeper and then zoo designer. She traveled the world while studying environmental policy & economics, implementing ecotourism as a way to conserve natural ecosystems while bringing in revenue to local communities. She saw in her travels that we are all one human family, with the beauty of diverse cultures, much like the diverse beauty of the animal and plant kingdoms. In getting to know each other, we can create peace.
World Peace Trails began as a concept in 2008, after Dr. Gail Lash, Andrea Kay Smith and Carla Smith finished putting together a first set of “Peace Trails”, called “Atlanta Peace Trails”. Gail decided to create this website as a location to list not only those Atlanta places of peace, but also all the businesses, zoos, parks, schools, and community organizations with which her company, Tourism For Peace, was working around the globe for peace. So began World Peace Trails – linking places of peace all over the world.
In 2015, REI (the outdoor recreational store) did something quite unusual on Black Friday – the biggest retail day of the year. They closed their doors, and encouraged their customers to #OptOutside – go out into Nature and experience the world, and to send in photos of their experiences. It worked. Over one million people chose to #OptOutside on November’s Friday after Thanksgiving! This story and event inspired Gail to create #OptForPeace as a way to promote people to choose Peace, go to peaceful places, and to create their own Places of Peace. We believe that choosing peace will help preserve natural environments, and create a happier and healthier world. Please #OptForPeace (link in menu) and let us know about it, so your “Place of Peace” can be added to our World Peace Trails map!