Great Outdoors Month 2005

JUNE IS GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH

Washington, D.C. - President George W. Bush has proclaimed June 2005 as Great Outdoors Month, citing the public’s shared legacy of parks, forests, refuges and other places and calling for both enjoyment and protection of these special places. He also noted the special efforts of public lands volunteers. The proclamation was issued on June 1 and says, in part:

Americans are blessed by our country's expansive landscapes, diverse wildlife, and beautiful public lands. Outdoor recreation provides an opportunity to enjoy the splendor of our Nation's remarkable natural treasures and reminds us of our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. Across our great Nation, Americans are taking that responsibility seriously and volunteering to help keep our natural areas beautiful for future generations. I commend these citizens for helping to protect our public lands, and I encourage all Americans to do their part. The Department of the Interior's Take Pride in America website and the USA Freedom Corps website offer examples of ways to participate in environmental stewardship projects.

The proclamation was suggested by the Great Outdoors Month Coalition, comprised of more than 60 organizations and companies (list attached). Information on these organizations and a guide to the wide range of activities underway to mark the month are at www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org. The activities include major volunteer events ranging from National Trails Day (June 4) to week-long celebrations including National Fishing and Boating Week (June 4-12).

According to the President, all Americans should play a role in Great Outdoors Month:
I call on all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities and to enjoy safe outdoor recreational activities.

Speaking for the Coalition, Derrick Crandall expressed appreciation for the President’s actions and sentiments. “June 2004 was the very first Presidentially-proclaimed Great Outdoors Month and President Bush’s action clearly stimulated new and coordinated activities to connect the American public with the outdoors. The Honorary Co-Chairs of this year’s Great Outdoors Month are the men and women who manage America’s public lands and waters and coordinate key programs like national scenic byways, and they have worked with us to meet our goal to reach Americans with an important message: Get Outdoors, Get Active,” said Crandall.

“The nation now understands that recreation is much more than fun. It is also a vital tool to improving our physical, mental and spiritual wellness,” said Crandall. According to the Coalition, two of the nation’s primary goals should to be to involve more Americans in caring for public lands and waters and to help America’s youth make a life-long connection to the outdoors. To achieve the latter, the Coalition is working to harness the powers of technology to make outdoor fun easier to find and to encourage new forms of recreation such as geocaching.

Below is a copy of the proclamation. The 2005 proclamation is also available from the White House website: www.whitehouse.gov/news/proclamations

GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH, 2005
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

During Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate our Nation's natural heritage, reaffirm our commitment to conserve our environment, and recognize the many volunteers who help maintain our natural spaces.

Americans are blessed by our country's expansive landscapes, diverse wildlife, and beautiful public lands. Outdoor recreation provides an opportunity to enjoy the splendor of our Nation's remarkable natural treasures and reminds us of our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.

Across our great Nation, Americans are taking that responsibility seriously and volunteering to help keep our natural areas beautiful for future generations. I commend these citizens for helping to protect our public lands, and I encourage all Americans to do their part. The Department of the Interior's Take Pride in America website and the USA Freedom Corps website offer examples of ways to participate in environmental stewardship projects.

We have an obligation to protect the Earth, and my Administration is pursuing responsible initiatives to make our air cleaner, our water purer, and our land better protected. In doing so, we are demonstrating the important principle that environmental protection and economic prosperity are both vital parts of being good stewards in the land we call home. Through these and other efforts, we will continue to build a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment for all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2005 as Great Outdoors Month. I call on all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities and to enjoy safe outdoor recreational activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.

GEORGE W. BUSH

www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/06/20050602-3.html