News Releases

President, Governors Tout Economic Benefits of Great Outdoors in Proclamations

President, Governors Tout Economic Benefits of Great Outdoors in Proclamations

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

June 20, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) - The President and nearly every governor have declared June 2012 as Great Outdoors Month. Proclamations began in the 1990’s and have now become traditions although the messages have varied. The proclamations are unique, but certain themes are pervasive and in 2012, the economic importance of recreation is the key emerging theme.

Partners Outdoors 2011 Draws Top Recreation Community Leaders

Partners Outdoors 2011 Draws Top Recreation Community Leaders

February 9, 2011 (Washington, D.C.) - Leaders from the recreation industry and federal agencies met at Partners Outdoors 2011, held January 23rd to 26th at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, Opened the 20th Anniversary Event. The dual themes were Health and the Great Outdoors and Getting More Americans into Their Great Outdoors. It marked the 20th year of the invitation-only meeting. Organizations in attendance are centrally involved in efforts to link Americans to the outdoors. Participants discussed key public and private efforts to connect the American people to the outdoors at the national, state and local levels, including the Obama Administration's new America's Great Outdoors initiative. Discussions built on the groundbreaking dialogue at last year’s Partners Outdoors meeting between the healthcare and recreation communities. There is growing agreement that real promise exists for improving the health of the American people through recreation, including redirecting focus from traditional spending on drugs and surgery to investments in recreation facilities and opportunities. General session topics included: The Future of Recreation; America’s Great Outdoors Initiative: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going; Partners Working to Keep Americans Fishing and Boating in the Great Outdoors; Getting Americans Back Outdoors; Health People, Healthy Places: Building the Link; Opportunities for Partnerships Promoting Active

National Park Service Announces Fee-Free Days of 2011

In an effort to get all Americans to visit a National Park this year, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced this year’s Fee-Free days, with two new additions. There will be 17 total Fee-Free days in 2011. The first Fee-Free day of 2011 will be this Monday on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – a new addition to Fee-Free days starting this year.

Most Americans live within a few hours of a national park. Salazar’s announcement is aimed to spur Americans to get out and explore the great outdoors in their backyard. In addition to the fee waived by the Department of the Interior, many national park concessioners will be offering special deals to coincide with Fee-Free days, like food discounts and activity specials. So check out your local national park this year and get outdoors!

2011 Fee-Free dates are:

Jan. 15-17, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 16-24, National Park Week
June 21, First Day of Summer
Sept. 24, National Public Lands Day
Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day Weekend

To see the official announcement, click here.

America's Byways and Goodyear: Top 50 Comfortable Touring Drives

America's Byways Top 50 Comfortable Touring Drives

September 29, 2010 (Washington, DC) - The America's Byways Resource Center and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announce the Top 50 Comfortable Touring Drives. These top 50 touring drives, selected by Goodyear, encompass comfort and scenery to enhance the trip and are all within reasonable distance of major metropolitan areas.

On TV and radio today, September 30, the "outdoor guru" Derrick Crandall*, national spokesperson and president of the American Recreation Coalition announced the Byways selected for the program. A Goodyear survey showed that 97 percent of Americans planning a fall road trip agree
that their overall comfort is the key to enjoying it. The full list can be viewed Click here And to see a TV news story, Click here

GO-Day 2010

Hundreds of hosting organizations and partners – federal and local agencies, nonprofits, recreation businesses and more – made June 12 a day of outdoor fun for thousands of families – especially underserved and urban families with kids. National Get Outdoors Day (GO-Day) 2010 was the third annual GO-Day and united groups to combat indoor, inactive lifestyles which are fueling the nation’s obesity epidemic and threatening today’s children with shorter life expectancies than their parents. The national effort was again led by the USDA Forest Service and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), but the 91 official GO-Day sites involved a varied mix of organizations in the natural resources, recreation, healthcare, youth services, and media fields. The partners were united by a shared belief in the mission of National Get Outdoors Day:

Unify public and private-sector interests in efforts to influence American lifestyles, especially among youth, in ways that maximize the physical, mental and other benefits derived from activities in the Great Outdoors through a focused effort to invite Americans to designated sites on a single day, as well as to highlight and assist the efforts of National Get Outdoors Day partners year-round.

The effort to reduce childhood obesity through outdoor activities has gained national attention this year. President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors) seeks to reconnect Americans to the outdoors. In addition, the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative (www.letsmove.gov), which aims to combat childhood obesity and help American families make good nutritional choices, added a “Let’s Move Outside” component on June 1, highlighting outdoor physical activity as essential to children’s health.

ARC Announces 2010 Beacon Award Winners

Washington, D.C. – The 2010 recipients of the American Recreation Coalition’s Beacon Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts by federal agencies and partners in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management, will be honored during Great Outdoors Week on Monday, June 7. Winners of the 2010 Beacon Awards are:

ARC Salutes 2010 Legends Award Winners

Washington, D.C. – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) will present its 2010 Legends Awards to six federal managers in recognition of their outstanding work to improve outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities for the American people. The awards will be presented on June 10, 2010 during Great Outdoors Week – ARC’s celebration of the value and importance of outdoor recreation. Initiated by ARC in 1991, the Legends Award program calls on federal land management agencies to each nominate an individual whose extraordinary personal efforts have made a real difference in enhancing outdoor recreation programs and resources. The 2010 Legends Award recipients will represent the Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

Winners of the 2010 Legends Awards are: William Boggs, Bureau of Land Management; Robert Morris, Federal Highway Administration; Dan B. Kimball, National Park Service; James E. Lynch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Nancy Haugen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Floyd Allen Thompson III, U.S. Forest Service.

President Obama and State Governors Proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month

Washington, D.C. – President Barack Obama and nearly all of America’s governors have proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamations, requested by a coalition of outdoor recreation and conservation organizations, celebrate the many special events held during June, including National Trails Day®, National Fishing and Boating Week, National Get Outdoors Day, National Marina Day and the Great American Backyard Campout, and the benefits of time outdoors to the health of Americans, young and old.

President Obama’s proclamation states, “America’s vast and varied outdoor spaces are a source of great national pride, and we have long strived to protect them for future generations. Our lands provide countless opportunities for exploration, recreation, and reflection, whether in solitude or with family and friends. During Great Outdoors Month, we renew our enduring commitment to protect our natural landscapes, to enjoy them and to promote active lifestyles for ourselves and our children.” Referring to America’s great outdoor spaces, the proclamation goes on to say, “These places are especially important today, as an increasing number of Americans, especially children, fall into unhealthy sedentary lifestyles.”

Exciting Plans for Great Outdoors Week and Great Outdoors Month 2010

Washington, D.C. – Excitement is growing across the nation about plans for Great Outdoors Week and Great Outdoors Month 2010. Great Outdoors Month celebrates a variety of important events and actions that occur during June, and highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges and other public lands and waters. Great Outdoors Week (June 7-12) showcases efforts enhancing outdoor recreation for all Americans in the 21st century through awards, briefings and other events in the Nation’s Capital.

Great Outdoors Week is coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and includes events co-hosted by more than a dozen federal agencies and national organizations. Great Outdoors Week's action-packed schedule will feature a special presentation of the Beacon Awards – honoring innovative uses of technology in public lands management – at the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, an ice cream social with “celebrity scoopers” from the public land management agencies followed by a walk on the National Mall, a presentation of the Legends Awards honoring outstanding public land management employees, the Recreational Trails Program award ceremony and briefing, a Recreation Exchange Luncheon, and a youth fishing event on the National Mall.

Great Outdoors Month, National Get Outdoors Day Gain Exciting New Partner in National Marina Day

Washington, D.C. – Americans celebrating Great Outdoors Month in June 2010 will have another exciting event to enjoy – National Marina Day. The Association of Marina Industries has announced that it will move its annual event to the second Saturday in June and take advantage of the strategic partnership offered by becoming part of Great Outdoors Month, which is coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition. Last year, President Obama and 46 state governors joined in issuing proclamations for Great Outdoors Month and convening various related activities, and that number is expected to grow further in 2010. National Marina Day will now help mark the start of the peak boating season and showcase summer-long opportunities for water fun, even for non-boat owners.

The new date for National Marina Day also will coincide with the third annual National Get Outdoors Day event on June 12. Begun in 2001 and observed until 2010 in August, National Marina Day celebrates and promotes recreational boating and the marina industry by inviting elected officials, civic leaders and the public to marinas across the nation for a day of fun and learning. Marina visitors see firsthand the important role marinas play as family-friendly gateways to boating and water fun and learn about the commitment of marina personnel to being stewards of the environment. These efforts are perfect components for the growing National Get Outdoors Day, which invites all visitors to public lands – and especially first-timers – to take advantage of the fun and healthy activities that public lands have to offer.