News Releases

Partners Outdoors 2013 Wrap Up

Partners Outdoors 2013 Identifies Route to Healthy Recreation in the Great Outdoors

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. – An annual gathering of leading recreation innovators from the public and private sectors concluded three days of brainstorming and sharing with a report on findings, actions and recommendations to the members of the Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR). Partners Outdoors 2013 was held at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Discussions were especially intense as the group sought ways to add quality and quantity to recreation opportunities on federally managed lands and waters even as the agencies and organizations involved were engaged in planning contingencies for sequestration and years of federal agency budget uncertainty.

GO Day 2013

National Get Outdoors Day 2013 Set for June 8

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. – National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) 2013 will be celebrated on Saturday, June 8. This will be the sixth year of a partnership effort by hundreds of government agencies, recreation and healthcare businesses and nonprofit organizations to introduce America’s youth to the healthy fun of America’s Great Outdoors. Events will be held at 200+ sites in urban centers, state and local parks and other places and the USDA Forest Service will waive many recreation fees on GO Day in national forests covering 192 million acres of the nation.

Partners Outdoors 2013 newsrelease

Funding, International Tourism and Access to Be Focus of Partners Outdoors 2013

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. – More than 100 recreation community leaders from across the nation and representing public and private organizations key to enjoyment of public lands and waters will participate in Partners Outdoors 2013 on February 19-21. Meeting at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, participants will focus on three important topics: 1) innovative and supplementary funding for recreation sites and operations on federal lands and waters; 2) opportunities to attract international visitors to America's Great Outdoors and assist both the economy and understanding of American values; and 3) using the recent transportation legislation known as MAP-21 and more to support access to and travel through America's Great Outdoors.

President, Governors Tout Health Benefits of Great Outdoors

President, Governors Tout Economic Benefits of Great Outdoors in Proclamations

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

June 27, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) - The importance of outdoor recreation to mental and physical health is a key theme of actions by the President and most governors in their designations of June 2012 as Great Outdoors Month. Great Outdoors Month proclamations began in the 1990’s and are now traditions, highlighting both the benefits of time outdoors and the range of activities and celebrations underway during the month.

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 ( seeks to reconnect Americans to the outdoors. In addition, the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative (, 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: