Washington, D.C. (6/1/15) - The nation’s top elected officials often disagree – but they completely agree that Americans need to spend more time in the nation’s parks, forests, refuges and other public spaces.  Proclaimed by the President (see the attachment) and each governor, Great Outdoors Month™ is a bipartisan celebration of America's diverse and treasured outdoor recreation places and the passion Americans have for conservation and volunteerism.

“During Great Outdoors Month™, Governors, communities, business leaders, and organizations will host thousands of events across the country to celebrate our unparalleled outdoors.  I encourage Americans to participate in these activities and to take the time to experience the natural grandeur of our Nation.  As we enjoy these magnificent places, let us rededicate ourselves to doing our part to preserve them for all future explorers, adventurers, and environmental stewards.” President Barack Obama.

Great Outdoors Month™ – June – has expanded, mirroring growth in outdoor recreation, which now involves more than $650 billion in consumer spending annually. It focuses public and private attention on our shared public lands and waters. Champions of the month also note the contribution of time outdoors to mental and physical health.

Events across the country celebrate Great Outdoors Month™ and help Americans respond to calls by the President and the governors to hike, bike, fish, camp, boat and otherwise enjoy the outdoors. The events include: free fishing opportunities and more during National Fishing and Boating Week (June 6th- 14th); thousands of work and fun events on American Hiking Society's National Trails Day® (June 6th); National Marina Day and National Get Outdoors Day, both offering easy introductions to outdoor fun (June 13th); National Wildlife Federation's Great American Campout (June 27th) and more. See information on Great Outdoors Month™ events at www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org.

1200 G Street, N.W., Suite 650, Washington, D.C. 20005  (202) 682-9530  www.funoutdoors.com

Great Outdoors Month™
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National partners including The Coleman Company, OFF!® and hundreds of federal, state, corporate and nonprofit organizations support Great Outdoors Month's™ goal to connect all Americans with our Great Outdoors even reaching those who rarely get outdoors for healthy, active fun. Most enjoyment of the Great Outdoors comes through visits to public lands and waters covering one-third of the nation, including state and national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges and federally-managed lakes. Yet many younger and urban Americans have trouble identifying fun outdoors things to do and where to go. With little marketing and promotion and easily overlooked signage, public recreation sites are near-invisible. The Month’s partners are using social media and websites like www.recreation.gov and www.americasstateparks.org to change that.

Thirteen Governors are holding Capital Campouts, welcoming urban youth and families to camp out on the grounds of their governor's residence or in nearby state parks. 2015's hosts are Governors John Hickenlooper (CO), Jack Markell (DE), Mike Pence (IN), Terry Branstad (IA), Sam Brownback (KS), Charlie Baker (MA), Jay Nixon (MO), Steve Bullock (MT), Maggie Hassan (NH), Gina Raimondo (RI), Terry McAuliffe (VA), Jay Inslee (WA), and Matt Mead (WY).

According to the coordinators of Great Outdoors Month™, an estimated 16,000 events and activities during the month will involve more than a million Americans – including large numbers of urban youth with little understanding of the Great Outdoors legacy which is theirs and the benefits of public lands and waters to individuals, families, communities and the nation.              

Great Outdoors Month partners include America's State Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, American Recreation Coalition, American Hiking Society, the National Wildlife Federation and many others.  To read the proclamations of Great Outdoors Month, go to www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org. 

#05-15                                                                                                                                                                        (June 1, 2015)                                                                                                                         

About the American Recreation Coalition:

American Recreation Coalition – is a nonprofit, Washington, DC-based federation founded in 1979.  The association provides a unified voice for recreation interests to ensure their full and active participation in government policy-making on issues such as public land management.  ARC membership consists of more than 100 organizations, including national and regional associations and corporations that represent a major share of the $650 billion a year recreation/ leisure industry and enthusiast groups representing millions of recreationists. Since its inception, ARC has catalyzed public-private partnerships to enhance and protect outdoor recreation opportunities and resources.  ARC conducts research, organizes national conferences, and disseminates information through a variety of means, including its website www.funoutdoors.com.  ARC plays a leading role in several key coalitions and organizations, including the Coalition for Recreational Trails, Scenic Byways Coalition and Coalition for Recreation in the National Forests.  ARC also supports and promotes the WOW – Wonderful Outdoor World outreach to urban children and was instrumental in the re-launch of Take Pride in America.  ARC was also instrumental in launching National Get Outdoors Day, a national effort dedicated to helping children enjoy healthy, active outdoor lives.