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.”

The proclamation highlights current Administration efforts to get Americans healthier through outdoor activity, like the recently launched America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to protect natural landscapes and reconnect Americans to the outdoors, and the First Lady’s Let’s Move effort to help children eat more nutritious foods, lead healthier lives, and increase their physical activity. More information on these initiatives is available at: and

The gubernatorial Great Outdoors Month proclamations began four years ago, although 2010 marks the greatest number of proclamations ever issued. While the state proclamations vary in emphasis and reflect key state features, most praise volunteerism, the power of outdoor recreation to contribute to happier, healthier lifestyles, and the legacy of parks and public lands and waters. Here are a few highlights from the 2010 state proclamations:

  • “Our citizens play an important role in protecting our natural areas, and during this month, we honor the men and women who volunteer to help protect our environment.”

    Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer

  • “[Arkansas] provides an abundance of outdoor recreational and educational opportunities, endless adventures, and subsequent quality-of-life rewards and health benefits.”

    Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe

  • Getting outside can not only be exciting, but good for us as well. Going outdoors to see our state’s majestic scenery can foster a greater appreciation for the environment, be a family activity, improve our physical fitness and generally make us feel happier and rejuvenated.”

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • “Those who take advantage of the opportunities afforded them in the outdoors generally live longer, healthier, fuller lives than those who do not.”

    Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.

  • “As acknowledged in the No Child Left Inside Initiative in the State of Connecticut, June is the perfect month to spend time outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty in which we are lucky to live.”

    Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell

  • The District of Columbia strives to be a leader in green initiatives to protect the environment, reduce energy consumption, enhance air quality, clean rivers and streams, nurture thriving urban parks and wildlife habitat.”

    District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty

  • “The mission of the Get Outdoors Georgia initiative focuses on highlighting the link between participating in outdoor recreation and improved health for people of all ages and abilities as well as an emphasis on children’s early involvement in nature to establish life-long physical, mental and community benefits.”

    Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

  • “Our residents live amid many wonders of nature from the slopes of Mauna Kea to the cliffs of Moloka’i and countless other parks, forests and beaches. By spending time outdoors, we celebrate the magnificent landscapes that surround us.”

    Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle

  • Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to celebrate the rich blessings of our nation’s natural beauty, and to renew our commitment to protecting our environment so that we can leave our children and grandchildren a healthy and flourishing land.”

    Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

  • “Getting outdoors promotes good health for both the body and mind, helps create memorable experiences with family and friends, and fosters a deeper appreciation of our natural resources.”

    Iowa Governor Chester J. Culver

  • “The month of June includes many outdoor-themed events, such as National Trails Day, National Boating and Fishing Week and National ‘Get Outdoors’ Day.”

    Kentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear

  • “All Louisianians should renew their commitment to conserve our state’s air, water, and land for the benefit of future generations.”

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

  • “In Maine and throughout this country, the number of overweight children is on the rise, and the State of Maine’s ‘Take It Outside’ initiative encourages parents to take their children outside and experience their own backyards and Maine’s many treasures in the great outdoors.”

    Maine Governor John E. Baldacci

  • “Outdoor recreation is an ideal way to exercise and enjoy memorable experiences with family and friends.”

    Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour

  • “Those who volunteer in their communities at environmental education programs, local parks, nature conservancies and other stewardship opportunities make invaluable contributions to the state of Missouri.”

    Missouri Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon

  • “As Governor, I am proud of the efforts we have made to protect our clean air and water for future generations. As a father, I am proud to have the opportunity to share my love for hunting, fishing, and camping with my children.”

    Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer

  • “I encourage all Americans to demonstrate good stewardship and an appreciation for the outdoors.”

    Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman

  • “By encouraging residents and tourists to go outdoors, we encourage a more active and healthy lifestyle, improve mental and physical health, reduce substance abuse and enhance the economy of the State.”

    Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons

  • New Mexico is a leader in efforts to protect public lands and fish and wildlife resources, and to promote healthy lifestyles and to reconnect children to nature.”

    New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

  • New York is synonymous with summer fun and adventure, and, each year, people from around the world discover some of our finest assets in an abundance of natural resources that attract outdoor enthusiasts to visit spectacular parks, wildlife preserves, and scenic campgrounds that provide a backdrop for memorable vacations.”

    New York Governor David A. Paterson

  • “The State of North Carolina has proclaimed June 5, 2010 as National Trails Day because of the many health, quality-of-life and economic benefits trails provide North Carolinians as a part of outdoor recreation.”

    North Carolina Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue

  • “Oklahoma has natural beauty which raises the spirit and calls us to experience it.”

    Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry

  • “Recreation is a valuable means for education to reach America’s youth with the message that outdoor recreation is a fun, healthy use of leisure time.”

    Oregon Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski

  • “Great Outdoors Month is a significant opportunity to help reconnect our children to nature and reverse the troubling nationwide trends of children spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago and spending six and a half hours each day ‘plugged into’ electronic media.”

    Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell

  • “Great Outdoors Month is held annually to highlight the numerous benefits of active fun outdoors and the magnificent shared resources of our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters.”

    South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

  • A connection with nature is an essential component of our physical well-being – time outside combats obesity and diabetes, reduces stress levels, and decreases symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and for the first time in our country’s history, we potentially have an entire generation growing up disconnected from nature, which makes outdoor recreation awareness especially important for our children.”

    South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds

  • “State and local partners are convening the first-ever Governor’s Summit on Every Child Outdoors Tennessee (ECO-TN) at Montgomery Bell State Park to promote children’s early involvement in nature to establish life-long physical, mental and community benefits.”

    Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen

  • “The month of June is dedicated to promoting awareness of the great outdoors. We must take time to recognize the majestic beauty of the Lone Star State and teach Texas youth all the benefits of spending time with nature.”

    Texas Governor Rick Perry

  • “June is a particularly active time for recreation and many summertime activities that range from enjoyment of wildlife viewing to adventure sports.”

    Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert

  • “Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the local community groups, environmental organizations, and state agencies that work diligently to protect and preserve our natural environment.”

    Vermont Governor James H. Douglas

  • “Outdoor recreation is an ideal way to exercise, appreciate nature, and enjoy memorable experiences with family and friends.”

    Washington Governor Christine O. Gregoire

  • “The mission of this month is to promote healthier lifestyles to combat obesity, volunteerism to strengthen our communities and our shared legacy of parks and forests, protection of our environment and enjoyment of the great outdoors.”

    West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III

  • “Wisconsin has a history of natural resource stewardship, exemplified by the legacies of great conservationists like Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson, and our citizens must remain committed to protecting and appreciating these valuable resources.”

    Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle

  • “Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to honor those who work to keep our natural places beautiful and to celebrate some of our country’s favorite outdoor pastimes, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and giving Americans pride in the great American landscape.”

    Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal

The Great Outdoors Month initiative is led by the American Recreation Coalition, American Hiking Society, Association of Marina Industries, Children and Nature Network, National Wildlife Federation, National Association of State Park Directors, National Recreation and Park Association, and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. Proclamations can be read and downloaded at:

ARC President Derrick Crandall praised the actions of President Obama, noting, “We are delighted that the President has demonstrated his support for increasing the positive role the outdoors play in Americans’ lives. From the new America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign to combat childhood obesity, this Administration has shown its dedication to improving Americans’ quality of life through time spent outdoors. We are also pleased that governors across this nation recognize and support the important role that outdoor recreation plays in creating and sustaining a healthier, happier America. We hope that the public responds to the advice contained in virtually all of the proclamations: get outdoors and have fun improving your health!”

The original proclamations will also be highlighted at Great Outdoor Week events (June 7-12) in Washington, D.C.