Recreation Leaders Address NASPD Conference

Recreation Leaders Address NASPD Conference

A trio of recreation community leaders - ARC President Derrick Crandall, NMMA VP for State Government Relations David Dickerson and RVDA President Phil Ingrassia - addressed the National Association of State Park Directors 2016 Conference in French Lick, Indiana last week. The mood was upbeat, and no wonder - state parks are reporting that visitation is up. Virginia has an especially good story to tell with almost one million visitors - through July 31 - than the same time last year! State parks continue to be one of the best opportunities for healthy, active outdoor fun on public lands and waters across the country. See their presentation here. For more state park facts, click here.

Chasing Digital Creatures is Old News to US Forest Service

Chasing Digital Creatures is Old News to U.S. Forest Service - Discovery Agents turns augmented reality mobile gaming into education

Washington DC - A year before augmented reality arrived on the scene, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) had embraced the power and allure of technology to get kids moving and learning. The agency’s leadership recognized that lifestyles and family preferences are evolving rapidly and as a result, methods for engaging kids outdoors must also adapt. To capture the imagination of today’s youth and families, they partnered with Discovery Agents to customize an augmented reality game as dynamic as the huge and diverse national forest system. The Discovery Agents mobile game, available for both Apple and Android devices, is allowing families to explore and learn during hundreds of millions of visits annually.

Sec. Jewell Applauds President’s Designation of Maine's North Woods

Secretary Jewell Applauds President’s Designation of the First National Monument to Preserve Landscape, History & Culture of Maine’s North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument Permanently Protects Mountains, Forests & Waters of North-Central Maine, Builds on Robust Tradition of Growing National Park System through Private Philanthropy

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today applauded President Obama’s designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the first national monument to preserve the landscape and honor the history and culture of Maine’s North Woods. The President’s use of the Antiquities Act to make this designation permanently protects 87,500 acres of lands donated to the National Park Service earlier this week by the Elliottsville Plantation, Inc., (EPI), including the East Branch of the Penobscot River and its tributaries, one of the most pristine watersheds in the Northeast.

Boating Industry's 2016 "State of the Industry" Webinar

The state of the boating industry is good. That’s the message from Boating Industry’s “2016 State of the Boating Industry” webinar. According to the report, powerboat sales are up 5 - 7%, and when you include sales of Personal Watercraft, sales are up 9%. While sales are not yet back to pre-recession levels, boat sales have been steadily growing for four years, and at least two more years of solid growth is projected. The industry continues to struggle with an aging population, but efforts are underway to try and reverse this trend.

Watch the full webinar:

Download the slides here.

It's All Yours: Discover the Forest with Pete's Dragon

There’s magic in the forests—and, it’s all yours to discover! Visit It's All Yours to explore the magic of our nation’s and see Disney’s new film, “Pete’s Dragon” in theaters Friday, August 12.

NPS Turns 100 August 25!

You're invited to the National Park Service's 100th birthday August 25!

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and they're inviting visitors of all ages to join in the celebration throughout the month! With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, the National Park Service is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque for the centennial!

To get you started, we've gathered a sampling of special programs taking place and listed them below. But hundreds of other August events across the country can be found at and

Park Rx: A Three Part Webinar Series

Park Rx
Creating and Strengthening Park Prescription Programs: A Three-Part Webinar Series

The National ParkRx Initiative is excited to announce a series of free webinars that will explore some of the most important elements for successful park prescription programs.

Learn how to create, improve and promote your own park prescription program while hearing real-world examples of how organizations incorporated the National ParkRx Initiative into their work.

Each webinar will draw on case studies and best practices from expert medical doctors, park professionals and public health officials in the ParkRx movement.

Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks

TRAILBLAZING: 100 Years of our National Parks

Did you know that a village at the bottom of the Grand Canyon eats most of its mail? Or that one of America’s newest national park units was once so secret it used multiple undercover addresses? Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks, a two-year temporary exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, chronicles these and numerous other intersections between the mail and our national parks. Featuring original postage stamp art from the United States Postal Service and artifacts loaned by the National Park Service, Trailblazing explores the myriad and sometimes surprising ways that mail moves to, through, and from our national parks.

AAA Survey Shows Increased Interest Interest in National Parks

AAA Survey Shows Increased Interest in National Parks

National Parks are more popular than ever! According to a AAA study, 79% of Americans say they are as likely or more likely to visit a national park in the next 12 months, likely building on the momentum of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary next month.

The survey found that 85% of adults have visited at least one national park, and more than 70% say national parks are a "must-see" vacation destination. Even the nation's most sought-after demographic - Millennials - is expressing a greater interest in parks with 46% saying they are more likely to visit a national park in the next year, outpacing both Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Great Outdoors Month 2016 Successes

Great Outdoors Month® 2016 has been the most successful Great Outdoors Month of all time! Two signature events (Partners Outdoors 2016 and the GO West Campout), 18 Capital and Governor’s Campouts, thousands of partner events across the country and more have helped introduce millions of Americans to their public lands and waters. Once again, the President and all 50 governors proclaimed June Great Outdoors Month®. Private partners like Great Outdoors Month® Founding Sponsor The Coleman Company, Airstream, Zip Firestarters, Grand Teton Lodge Company, Xanterra, Forever Resorts, BACK TO NATURE Macaroni & Cheese Dinners and more joined in efforts to promote healthy, active outdoor fun in the great outdoors. And new federal actions are working towards making the great outdoors more accessible to every American.