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.

An exciting addition to Great Outdoors Week will be the first Washington, D.C. meeting of the physicians group formed at Partners Outdoors 2010 – Physicians for Healthier Americans Through Fun Outdoors (PHATFOs). Dr. Michael Suk (former White House fellow at the Interior Department), Dr. Daphne Miller (Washington Post contributor),Dr. Stephen Lockhart (Chairman of NatureBridge and Second Century Commission member) and others plan to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and John Berry, Office of Personnel Management Director, to discuss ways to make Americans healthier through active outdoor fun.

Great Outdoors Month will again highlight important initiatives across the country helping Americans pursue healthier, outdoor lives. These initiatives include National Trails Day® (June 5), National Fishing and Boating Week (June 5-13), the Great American Backyard Campout (June 26), National Get Outdoors Day (June 12), and more. The Association of Marina Industries has also moved National Marina Day to the second Saturday in June to partner with National Get Outdoors Day and to take advantage of the strategic partnership offered by becoming part of Great Outdoors Month.

Additionally, a coalition of outdoor recreation leaders has once again asked the President, the state governors and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamations are especially appropriate this year as nationwide attention is being given to active time in the Great Outdoors as key to better health, better education and support for conservation causes. Proclamations issued to date are available at www.funoutdoors.com.