American Recreation Coalition

Reservoirs of Opportunity

In 1999 after a year of work, a panel of distinguished Americans from the public and private sector – the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission – documented almost 2,000 federally managed man-made lakes and the recreational opportunities they provide. They found that these lakes are a powerful recreation attraction, but have massively untapped potential. The commission made several recommendations to enhance recreation opportunities available at these lakes, but unfortunately bad laws constrained them from making any real changes. As the National Park Service Centennial brings new focus to recreation opportunities on the nation’s public lands and waters, ARC is revitalizing these ideas.

Federal Agencies Announce Fee Free Days for 2016

Federal land and water management agencies have announced their fee-free days for 2016! The National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will have no entrance fees on a combined 36 days, offering all Americans the opportunity to enjoy healthy, active outdoor fun on their public lands and waters. Most are linked to special holidays and events and there are often special offers by agency partners. Keep checking here as more and more partner events are announced. The 2016 fee-free days are:

  • National Park Service: January 18 (Martin Luther King Day), April 16-24 (National Park Week), August 25-28 (National Park Service Birthday), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), November 11 (Veterans Day)
  • Subcommittee on Federal Lands to Hold Legislative Hearing on Discussion Draft of the "National Park Service Centennial Act"

    Subcommittee on Federal Lands to Hold Legislative Hearing on Discussion Draft of the “National Park Service Centennial Act”

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at 10:00 AM, in Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold a legislative hearing on the discussion draft of the “National Park Service Centennial Act.”

    WHAT: Subcommittee on Federal Lands legislative hearing on “National Park Service Centennial Act” discussion draft

    WHEN: Wednesday, December 2, 10:00 AM

    Positive Outlook for Outdoor Recreation in 2016

    This news release is available as a PDF here

    Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2015) – Outdoor recreation leaders report good sales and activities for 2015 and expectations of still stronger activity in 2016, according to a new report from the American Recreation Coalition, Outdoor Recreation Outlook 2016. Americans spend more than $650 billion annually on equipment ranging from skis and tents to RVs and boats and on services ranging from fishing licenses to zip lines, supporting millions of jobs in manufacturing, sales and service. And renewed interest in outreach and promotion by federal land and water management agencies – based around the National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration – is creating new opportunities for Americans everywhere to enjoy their great outdoors.

    ARC Presents at Society of American Travel Writers Convention In Las Vegas


    American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall addressed some 400 travel journalists, editors and publishers as part of the Society of American Travel Writers Convention in Las Vegas October 6. Crandall outlined the National Park Service Centennial, as well as new ways federal land and water management agencies are trying to connect with an increasingly urban and technologically-minded public.

    Major Centennial programs Crandall discussed included Every Kid in a Park, Find Your Park, NPS’ Urban Agenda, the Centennial Challenge program and more. Crandall also talked about new opportunities for active, outdoor fun on federal lands including summer activities like hiking, biking, zip lining and more at major ski resorts – 60% of which are on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

    Every Kid in a Park

    Administration Launches Every Kid in a Park Pass
    Fourth Graders Can Now Obtain Pass that Grants Free Access to Federal Lands and Waters Nationwide for them and their Family

    WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them, the Obama Administration today formally launched the new Every Kid in a Park program.

    Starting today, fourth graders nationwide can visit the new Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass that provides free access to students and their families to all federally managed lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The pass is valid for the 2015-2016 school year and grants free entry for fourth graders and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 federally-managed sites.

    Congressional Allies Champion Recreational Trails Program on Eve of the 114th Congress

    This post is also available in PDF form here

    October 6, 2014 – An integral part of connecting people with their Great Outdoors in a fun and healthy way is America’s wonderful system of trails. Tens of thousands of miles of recreational trails crisscross all 50 states. A key resource for building, improving and maintaining trails for all enthusiasts is the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

    National Parks Invite Visitors to Discover Something New in a Park with Free Admission on Nine Days in 2015

    There are nine more reasons to enjoy national parks next year! The National Park Service will offer free admission to every visitor on nine days in 2015.

    The 2015 entrance fee-free days are:

  • January 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 14-16: Presidents Day weekend
  • April 18 & 19: National Park Week’s opening weekend
  • August 25: National Park Service’s 99th birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • “Every day is a great day in a national park, and these entrance fee free days offer an extra incentive to visit one of these amazing places,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As we prepare to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016, we are inviting all Americans to discover the beauty and history that lives in our national parks."

    Great Outdoors Month™ 2014 Wrap Up

    Great Outdoors Month 2014 was the most successful Great Outdoors Month™ yet! With proclamations from the President and all 50 governors - as well as PSAs by Governors Butch Otter (R-ID) and Mike Beebe (D-AR) urging their citizens to enjoy the Great Outdoors - enthusiasm at the highest levels was clear.

    A record number of events were held to celebrate Great Outdoors Month™, including National Kids to Parks Day, hosted by the National Park Trust; the largest ever National Trails Day, hosted by the American Hiking Society; National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated nationally by Take Me Fishing; the 13th annual National Marina Day, organized by the Association of Marina Industries; the largest ever National Get Outdoors Day, hosted by USFS and ARC; and the largest ever Great American Backyard Campout, hosted by the National Wildlife Federation.

    ORR Welcomes Department of Interior's New Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee

    Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Welcomes Department of Interior's New Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee
    Committee Will Give Stronger Voice to America’s Outdoor Recreation Industry and Enthusiasts
    To read this story as a PDF, click here

    Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2018) – The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) today welcomed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s announcement of the members of the newly-established Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. The Committee is charged with finding solutions that will improve and conserve America’s public parks, lands and waters through strategic public-private partnerships.