News Releases

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.

Rex Maughan

Rex Maughan of Forever Resorts, Recipient of the 2009 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award

Rex Maughan of Forever Resorts to Receive 2009 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award

Washington, D.C. – Rex Maughan, Chairman, President, and Director of Forever Living Products International, Inc. and its affiliate, Forever Resorts, has been chosen to receive the 21st Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award, the recreation community's most prestigious award. The award is presented annually to an individual whose personal efforts have contributed substantially to enhancing outdoor experiences across America.

Mr. Maughan is one of the recreation community’s most dynamic and influential leaders, and he has long played an active role in building public/private partnerships, fostering environmentally responsible development, connecting children to the outdoors and encouraging healthy outdoor activity. “Rex Maughan is a visionary leader for the recreation and concessions industries. His companies lead the way for others, showing how business should be done to enhance recreation experiences for generations to come,” said Derrick Crandall, American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President, as he announced the award.

America’s First Family Heads to Two National Parks This Weekend

America’s First Family is headed to two national parks this weekend. And while they will bring along a small army of security and communications staffers, they will enjoy experiences remarkably similar to those enjoyed by millions of other American families who will visit one of the nearly 400 national park units this year.

The Obama family plans to visit both Yellowstone National Park – the nation’s first park – and Grand Canyon National Park to do some hiking, biking and gazing at natural vistas and wildlife. Their visit will coincide with the third and final weekend of the summer when fees will be waived by the National Park Service, thanks to action earlier this summer by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who is expected to accompany the First Family. However, it seems likely that the President planned to visit parks this summer regardless of the fee waiver. In remarks this spring at the U.S. Department of the Interior, the President recalled his family travels to parks across the nation at age 11 and told the audience that he wanted his daughters – and every American son and daughter – to have the experience of seeing our parks.

GO-Day 2009

To combat the threats posed by today’s indoor, inactive lifestyles – such as the growing obesity epidemic and the projection that today’s kids will live shorter lives than their parents due to lifestyle choices – several hundred local, state and federal agencies, diverse nonprofit organizations in the health and youth-services fields, the recreation community and media interests teamed up to host the second annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO-Day) on June 13, 2009. The national effort was again led by the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), but the number and diversity of the organizations involved nationally and locally increased sharply. Uniting these partners was 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.

GO-Day 2009 was built around offering opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities, regardless of past experience, skills or ownership of equipment. Those Americans currently underserved by visits to public lands and waters and youth – especially urban youth – were priority targets for the events. GO-Day organizers accepted a challenge: making the appeal of the great outdoors equal that of shopping malls and video games. And they met this challenge with exceptional results.