Blueprint for Getting More Americans Outdoors

Blueprint for Getting More Americans Outdoors

On March 8th, the ARC Board of Directors hosted members of the recreation community for a National Policy Brainstorming Session on the future of recreation, focusing on the development of a Blueprint for Getting Americans Active Outdoors. That blueprint will serve as an idea bank for candidates for office in 2016 and the transition teams that will be set up in Washington, D.C. and in numerous state capitals after the November elections.

The session was led by National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association President Frank Hugelmeyer. These recreation community leaders led the American Recreation Coalition board as it heard from organizations ranging from The Corps Network to the Federal Recreation Council, from Active Network to the National Wildlife Federation as well as newcomer the Archery Trade Association. They championed the development of a new “idea bank” to share with national leaders and efforts by recreation interests to select a handful of important efforts which would benefit all recreation interests.

The "idea bank" will be modeled after the action agenda for the incoming Clinton-Gore Administration crafted by more than two dozen recreation executives in 1993. Almost every item in that agenda was enacted, paving the way for increased enjoyment of America’s great outdoors by domestic and international visitors.

In 2016, a parallel development of ideas is underway by a dozen recreation trade association executives, that will be combined, discussed and refined by community leaders who will work to gain broad endorsement and then unify advocacy efforts at important forums ranging from the summer meeting of the Western Governors’ Association to political party platform hearings and events which will occur during the 2016 campaign process. Ultimately, the ideas will be further refined and presented to the new Administration and next Congress.

Initial offerings at the March 8 meeting included:

  • 21st Century Conservation Service Corps – The Corps Network
  • Strengthening America’s Trail System to Get Americans Outdoors – American Hiking Society
  • Documenting Outdoor Recreation’s Economic Impact – Federal Recreation Council
  • Environmental Education: Gateway to Recreation Participation by Kids – National Wildlife Federation
  • Taking Archery Into Communities, and Communities Into Archery – Archery Trade Association
  • Reclaiming Our Federal Lakes – National Marine Manufacturers Association
  • Outdoor Recreation in America
  • Protecting and Expanding Access to America’s Public Lands and Waters: Penny for the Outdoors – National Park Hospitality Association
  • Addressing the Challenges of Recreation.gov – Active Network