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Dates: June 9-11, 2014
Location: U.S. Department of the Interior
South Building, 1951 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Main Building, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Background: In 2014, Partners Outdoors and Great Outdoors Week – previously independent events held in January/February and June respectively – will be integrated into one Week in June 2014. This integration will retain and combine the best of both events: thoughtful discussions of challenges and opportunities facing the recreation community; informal networking of representatives of the recreation community’s public and private sectors; recreation issue briefings; recognition of outstanding achievements benefitting outdoor recreation by individuals and programs; recreation community outreach to Capitol Hill; and the celebration of National GO (Get Outdoors) Day. The Week’s events will also include a service component – volunteer efforts at one or more recreation sites in the National Capital area.

The longstanding federal supporters of Partners Outdoors will continue to play leading roles in structuring and supporting the program. Those federal partners include: Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. Additional federal partners will be encouraged to help plan and support the Week’s events.

The events of Great Outdoors Week, including Partners Outdoors, will focus on heightening awareness of the importance – including economic importance – of outdoor recreation, finding solutions to problems impacting outdoor recreation now and in the future, and recognizing problem solvers. During the three days of Partners Outdoors, keynote speakers, followed by panel presentations, and brainstormer sessions, will focus on three key topics: 1) Funding Recreation in the Great Outdoors Sustainably; 2) Hosting All Americans in Their Great Outdoors; and 3) Working Effectively as Partners Outdoors. And at the end of Partners Outdoors, participants will present their recommendations for achieving these three goals – and “Moving Forward Together.” Partners Outdoors will also include the presentation of the Legends and Beacon awards for outstanding service to the recreation community by the federal agencies – represented by both outstanding individual effort and by innovative, visionary programs.

Participation: Participation in the entire Partners Outdoors conference is by invitation only and will be restricted to approximately 90 persons. Invitations are extended by sponsoring organizations, including the federal agencies, the National Association of State Park Directors, and the American Recreation Coalition. Attendees hold senior management positions in the recreation and resources fields or are identified as candidates for such posts. Confirmation of attendance should be submitted by May 23, 2014.

Senior officials from federal agency partners will be welcome to attend keynote speeches, panel presentations, and the closing session without registering for the entire conference. In addition, those same events will be livestreamed for viewing by interested members of the recreation community who are unable to travel to Washington, D.C. for Partners Outdoors.

Accommodations: There will be no headquarters hotel for Partners Outdoors. Participants from out of town will be responsible for their own accommodations and are encouraged to make arrangements as early as possible. Among the hotels located near the U.S. Department of the Interior are: Courtyard by Marriott Washington, D.C./Foggy Bottom, 202-296-5700; Hilton Garden Inn Washington, D.C., 202-783-7800; J.W. Marriott Hotel Washington, D.C., 202-393-2000; and W Hotel Washington, D.C., 202-661-2400

Transportation: Washington, D.C. is served by three airports: Reagan National Airport (approximately 12-minute drive to the city); Washington Dulles International Airport (approximately 26 miles west of the city); and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (approximately 33 miles east of the city). Additional information about transportation options at the airports is available at

Tuition/Event Costs: Each participant will be charged a registration fee of $300.00 for all materials and services offered in conjunction with the Partners Outdoors 2014 conference. Fees should be sent to the American Recreation Coalition (1200 G Street, N.W., Suite 650, Washington, D.C. 20005) before the conference or may be paid on site at the time of registration. No refunds for cancellations will be honored after May 23, 2014. Checks should be made payable to the American Recreation Coalition. Credit card payments may be made via PayPal with the addition of a $9.00 administrative fee. Contact ARC for additional information. For an additional $150.00 fee (credit card fee is $4.50), participants who are interested in attending other events held during Great Outdoors Week can register for those events as well.

Expected Outcomes: Central objectives of Partners Outdoors 2014 are: 1) identify practical and sustainable strategies for funding recreation in the great outdoors with a special focus on the role to be played by fees, youth service and conservation corps, and private-sector partners as well as by a heightened understanding of recreation’s economic impact; 2) increase enjoyment of the great outdoors by all Americans – especially urban Americans – by identifying barriers to that enjoyment and strategies for eliminating those barriers; and 3) strengthen partnerships that support recreation in the great outdoors by identifying ways to improve existing partnerships and to increase and enhance future partnerships.

Attire: Dress during the meetings at Partners Outdoors 2014 will be business casual.