National Get Outdoors Day Launches: Seeking 100 Sites and Diverse Partnerships

Washington, D.C. (February 28, 2008) Participants from dozens of federal agencies and non-profit organizations and the recreation industry gathered in Washington to launch National Get Outdoors Day, a new annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. On June 14, 2008, and each June thereafter, these partners will offer sites for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors.

Earlier this month, the USDA Forest Service (FS) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) jointly outlined plans for National Get Outdoors Day at the Outdoor Recreation Village at this year’s Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. ARC President Derrick Crandall opened the National Get Outdoors Day Coalition meeting with a video about the Village, which drew an estimated 100,000 visitors. He noted that the Outdoor Recreation Village served as a testing ground for the National Get Outdoors Day concept. “We have a Super Bowl quality team in place. We may not know all the plays yet, but we have excellent talent. We can win back the hearts and minds of American kids to the Great Outdoors,” said Crandall.

National Get Outdoors Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, which encourages Americans, especially our youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters. Working with the FS, Get Outdoors USA! hosted six recreation forums and learned that public lands were missing the right triggers to capture the attention of today’s youth. ARC and the FS have each pledged $100,000 to the initial National Get Outdoors Day effort.

Jacqueline Emanuel of the FS emphasized her organization’s goal to reach the under-served public and first -time outdoor recreationists through new and diverse partners. FS Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteers Jim Bedwell echoed Ms. Emanuel’s comments, “We are all in this together. It is important that National Get Outdoors Day is not just the Forest Service, but all of the federal agencies.”

Participants were invited to join the National Coordinating Committee and to take part in one or more of the initial action task forces: Site Identification; Partner Recruitment; Communications; and Event Support.
Members will identify and secure the commitment of 100 diverse sites for National Get Outdoors Day. They will keep the National Coordinating Committee informed of the status of each site and act as the liaison between the sites and the National Coordinating Committee.

Partnership members will foster and develop relationships with traditional and non-traditional partners who share the National Get Outdoors Day mission, provide resources to support the events, and benefit from affiliation with National Get Outdoors Day.

The communications team will promote and publicize National Get Outdoors Day through a range of media outlets. They will identify and utilize national media partners, spokespersons, and social networks to heighten the awareness of National Get Outdoors Day and its mission.

This task force will support and assist local sites by developing an operations manual with resources to host a successful National Get Outdoors Day event. Members will connect national sponsors and local sites to ensure ample materials and signage for the events.

Site identification, partner recruitment and communication efforts are already underway for National Get Outdoors Day. Mountain High Resort in the Angeles National Forest, Big Bear Discovery Center in the San Bernardino National Forest, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Boy Scouts Camp Snyder in Haymarket, Virginia, and Callville Bay Marina in Lake Mead National Recreation Area are already proposed official National Get Outdoors Day sites. Partner agreements with The Coleman Company and other outdoor recreation industry companies are being finalized. Promising discussions with A-list Hollywood celebrities, NFL stars and national media partners are yielding high interest in this special event.

The National Get Outdoors Day Coalition concluded their meeting in agreement to work together to develop and produce an outstanding national event that will recapture America’s enthusiasm for the great outdoors. Kevin Coyle, Vice President of the National Wildlife Federation, implored the coalition to energize the conservationists of tomorrow. “We are losing the battle. But we have plenty to offer. The demand side is where the attention needs to be. American childhood has moved indoors. We need to get them back outdoors.”

To join the National Get Outdoors Day Coordinating Committee or to find out more about National Get Outdoors Day, contact: Caroline Mica, , 202-682-9530 To find out more about Get Outdoors USA!, go to: