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RISMEDIA, February 19, 2010—(MCT)—February has been deemed “plant the seeds of greatness month” in an effort to encourage Americans to examine their goals and make changes where desired. Use this opportunity to spark a conversation within your family and then forge ahead. Learn a new skill, explore new territory or give back to your community.

Here are five ideas to consider:

1. Reduce your carbon footprint.
Be an eco-minded traveler; consider a cycling tour. Sign up for trips offered by Cycling Through the Centuries, and you’ll pedal through parts of Portugal, Spain and France not accessible to travelers arriving by vehicle. Throughout the trip, everything is recycled. Meals and picnics consist of locally grown specialties. For more information, visit

2. Give back during a great adventure.
Join pioneering adventure travel expert Dr. Antonia Neubauer for a trek through Nepal, the country where adventure travel was born. Explore the cultures and festivals of the people and join in the efforts of READ Global. The award-winning program inspires rural prosperity by building a community library and resource center in a village then seeding a local business to fully sustain and support the library and provide local jobs. For more information, visit

3. Find inspiration at the grandest canyon.
Stay at El Tovar, the historic hotel just steps from the Grand Canyon’s rim. Completed in 1905 to accommodate tourists, El Tovar offers cozy, hunting-lodge-style digs. Set out from them for hiking, photography, journaling and people-watching. The majesty of the Grand Canyon provides the perfect setting for putting your life in perspective and revisiting your family’s goals and objectives. For more information, visit

4. Become a golfing family.
Follow Kentucky’s Golf Trail and sharpen your skills on one of 19 courses operated by the Kentucky Department of Parks. The “Trail Card,” sold at all state-park courses, provides unlimited greens fees for cardholders. Check out the “Tees and ZZZs” packages, which include meals, lodging and more to craft a great family weekend. For more information, visit

5. Plant a seed.
As a symbol of your new goals or commitments, visit a botanical garden, join a tree-planting effort or launch a community garden in your own neighborhood. You’ll then have the pleasure of watching the greenery grow along with your own efforts. For more information, visit

(c) 2010, The Dallas Morning News.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.