News Release Great Outdoors Month Proclamations

President, Governors Proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. – The President of the United States was joined this year by each of the 50 state governors in proclaiming June as Great Outdoors Month. In many states this was the seventh consecutive year such a proclamation has been issued. Presidential recognition of the Great Outdoors through proclamations began in the 1990’s. The proclamations celebrate the shared legacy of Americans in our Great Outdoors and the important health, economic and social benefits derived from time in the outdoors.

President Obama’s 2013 proclamation highlighted recent achievements of several federal programs to protect the outdoors and to connect Americans with its use, including the recent creation of national monuments and the work of the First Lady under Let’s Move.

The governors highlighted unique programs and opportunities available to residents of their states. Common themes included an emphasis on the importance of conservation and the health benefits associated with outdoor recreation. Governor Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) said, “We ask the people of the Aloha State to join us in recognizing our State's commitments to protecting our outdoor spaces and celebrating all that they have to offer.” And Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA) declared, “The mission of the Great Outdoors Month focuses on the link between outdoor recreation and improved health for people of all ages and abilities.” Almost half of the governors highlighted the special features of state parks and the economic benefits of the Great Outdoors. Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) proclaimed, “Virginia's award winning State Parks, Natural Area Preserves, State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas, combined with other outstanding local and federal public lands, provide unparalleled outdoor recreation which promotes health, fitness and conservation stewardship.” Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT) used his proclamation to say, “We must renew our commitment and protection of natural resources as a means of job creation and statewide economic development through tourism and recreation.” Thirteen Governors underscored the role the Great Outdoors plays in education, including John Kitzhaber (D-OR), who said, “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.” Governors also commended volunteers for their hard work and emphasized recreating in the Great Outdoors as an ideal way to spend time with your family.

Some governors used proclamations to outline concerns. Governor Dennis Daugaard (R-SD) warned, “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.” Other Governors used proclamations to support their initiatives to counteract this disconnect. Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) took the opportunity to announce, “The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and numerous partners are launching the Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit in an effort to reconnect children and their families with the great outdoors.” Governor Mike Mead (R-WY) also commended “"WY Outside," a coalition of public, private and nonprofit organizations, [which] was established to encourage children and families to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year.”

Every governor expressed a recommendation for personal action parallel to the charge delivered by President Obama, who concluded his proclamation by urging “all Americans to explore the great outdoors and to uphold our Nation’s legacy of conserving our lands and waters for future generations.”

The Great Outdoors Month proclamations were requested by leading national recreation organizations, many of which sponsor key recreation-related events and activities during the month. These events include: National Trails Day®, National Fishing and Boating Week, the Great American Backyard Campout, Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, Great Outdoors Week, and National Get Outdoors Day.

Copies of the proclamations can be viewed and downloaded at