Plans Announced for Great Outdoors Week

Washington, D.C. - Planning is well under way for another eventful Great Outdoors Week, the American Recreation Coalition's (ARC) annual celebration of outdoor recreation and its important contributions to the well-being of the American people and their communities. The Week, which begins with the observance of National Get Outdoors (GO) Day on Saturday, June 11, 2011, will include special events showcasing key recreation programs and recognizing the outstanding efforts being undertaken across the country to improve outdoor recreation experiences. Great Outdoors Week is one of the focal points of Great Outdoors Month, proclaimed nationwide by the President and by state governors in every state throughout the United States.

The GO-Day launch of Great Outdoors Week will be marked at more than 100 sites where the public - especially young people - will be invited to enjoy different recreation activities and learn about additional, easily accessible recreation opportunities. The U.S. Forest Service will celebrate GO-Day as Fee Free Day, waiving fees on millions of acres of National Forests. And dozens of marina operators celebrating National Marina Day on June 11th will welcome thousands of visitors to these family-friendly gateways to wonderful boating experiences.

Programs featured during Great Outdoors Week will include the Obama Administration's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to link the American people to their magnificent public lands, the Let's Move Outside campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity, the ED OUT partnership program to encourage outdoor learning and fun, and the Recreational Trails Program, which serves as the foundation for state trail programs all across the country.

Great Outdoors Week will also include several different award ceremonies recognizing individual and collective achievements within the recreation community. The Coalition for Recreational Trails will salute outstanding trail programs and projects funded by the federal Recreational Trails Program. ARC will present its Legends Awards to exceptional individuals from seven federal agencies whose personal efforts have led to substantial improvements in outdoor recreation resources and management. ARC's Beacon Awards will recognize the innovative use of technology in visitor services and recreation management on public lands. And, finally, the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award - the recreation community's most prestigious award - will recognize the leadership, vision and accomplishments of one extraordinary individual whose personal commitment to the value and importance of recreation has contributed significantly to the welfare of the American people.

"Great Outdoors Week gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the people, places and programs that bring healthy outdoor fun to millions of Americans every day of the year," said ARC President Derrick Crandall. "They really put the 'Great' into the Great Outdoors."