President Proclaims June 2004 as Great Outdoors Month

PRESIDENT PROCLAIMS JUNE 2004
AS GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH

Washington, D.C. — June has been officially proclaimed Great Outdoors Month by President George W. Bush. In his proclamation, the President recalled the trek of Captains Lewis and Clark 200 years ago and the inspiring sights they recorded in their journals. He noted, “The splendor of the great outdoors continues to inspire our citizens, and a love of outdoor recreation remains a fundamental part of the American character. By observing Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate our commitment to appreciating and protecting our natural wealth.” He called upon all Americans to celebrate the month through participation in recreational activities.

“Outdoor recreation is an ideal way to exercise and enjoy memorable experiences with family and friends, and all across our country are scenic places that sports and nature enthusiasts can explore and help keep beautiful,” according to the President.

The President also reinforced his call for volunteerism and community service. “I urge all Americans not only to visit our parks and recreation areas, but also to volunteer their time and talents to help maintain the beauty of our environment. Good stewardship of the environment is not just a personal responsibility, it is a public value; and citizens who lend a hand to local parks and public lands are vital to the preservation of our Nation's many special places.”

“Americans can take pride in the remarkable progress we continue to make in conserving our environment and natural resources,” said the President.

Many federal departments and agencies and recreation organizations are actively involved in Great Outdoors Month events. The American Recreation Coalition hosts Great Outdoors Week each year during the month’s second week. Great Outdoors Week opens with a briefing on Harnessing Technologies to Enhance Outdoor Experiences at the U.S. Department of the Interior, followed by a reception celebrating the Week. The 16th Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award will be presented on Tuesday evening to Interior Secretary Gale Norton in recognition of her personal role in relaunching Take Pride in America, her support for and involvement in the WOW-Wonderful Outdoor World program and her championship of public/private partnerships in recreation and conservation.

Wednesday will include June’s Recreation Exchange, featuring a Town Hall meeting on recreation fees at federal sites and pending fee legislation. Also on Wednesday, Legends Awards will be presented to seven outstanding federal employees and the Forest Service will hold an open house to showcase its recreation initiatives. On Thursday, recreation industry leaders, government officials and outdoor enthusiasts will devote a day to Take Pride in America volunteer work on Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River. This site, a unit of the National Park Service, is a fitting memorial to the Nation’s 26th President whose actions 100 years ago greatly shaped such treasured outdoor institutions as the national forests, the national wildlife refuge system and the national park system. The volunteers will improve trails, remove invasive vegetation and collect litter and debris and will be treated to a ice cream social at day’s end, hosted by Blue Bell Creameries and ReserveAmerica.

Other key Great Outdoors Month activities include National Trails Day (June 5), Get Fit with US (June 5), National Fishing and Boating Week (June 5-13) and National Clean Beaches Week (beginning June 27).

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(June 6, 2004)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Rome, Italy)

_____________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release June 4, 2004
GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH, 2004
- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

More than 200 years ago, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked upon an expedition to explore uncharted lands and find passage across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. During the Captains' journey, their Corps of Discovery encountered remarkable landscapes, observed wildlife, and traded with American Indians. Two years into his experience, Captain Lewis was inspired by the beauty of a waterfall along the Missouri River that he called in his journal, "the grandest sight I ever beheld." Today, the splendor of the great outdoors continues to inspire our citizens, and a love of outdoor recreation remains a fundamental part of the American character. By observing Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate our commitment to appreciating and protecting our natural wealth. Outdoor recreation is an ideal way to exercise and enjoy memorable experiences with family and friends, and all across our country are scenic places that sports and nature enthusiasts can explore and help keep beautiful. During Great Outdoors Month and throughout the year, I encourage Americans to go camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, bird watching, boating, or to participate in other outdoor activities that are part of a healthy lifestyle.

The true strength of our Nation lies in the hearts and souls of our citizens, and I urge all Americans not only to visit our parks and recreation areas, but also to volunteer their time and talents to help maintain the beauty of our environment. Good stewardship of the environment is not just a personal responsibility, it is a public value; and citizens who lend a hand to local parks and public lands are vital to the preservation of our Nation's many special places. Americans can take pride in the remarkable progress we continue to make in conserving our environment and natural resources.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2004 as Great Outdoors Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to participate in safe and enjoyable outdoor recreation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.

GEORGE W. BUSH
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