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 Lifestyles in the 21st Century; Education and the Outdoors; Making Great Outdoors Month a Vehicle for Action; and People and the Great Outdoors: The Challenges and the Opportunities.

For the full report: click here.

Presentations and a photo album are located on the Partners Outdoors blog: click here.

Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, Opened the 20th Anniversary Event

On Sunday, January 23rd, Partners Outdoors attendees were welcomed by Col. Thomas Kula, Division Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). He noted the Corps’ support for Partners Outdoors and said the USACE appreciated the opportunity to collaborate on efforts “to get people outdoors.” He then introduced the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works. She noted that the Corps of Engineers is the Nation’s largest provider of outdoors recreation, managing 12 million acres of lands and waters and attracting nearly 400 million visits annually. Eighty percent of the Corps recreation projects are within 50 miles of major metropolitan areas, Ms. Darcy said, and the Corps seeks partnerships with state and local governments, Native American tribes and with private and public groups. She spoke about the Let’s Move! Initiative and the Value to the Nation study which demonstrates how the Corp impacts Americans and our economy. She noted www.recreation.gov (click here) is the most visited section of their website and announced that Heather Burke will serve as the new National Advisor for Partnerships for USACE.