Reservoirs of Opportunity

In 1999 after a year of work, a panel of distinguished Americans from the public and private sector – the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission – documented almost 2,000 federally managed man-made lakes and the recreational opportunities they provide. They found that these lakes are a powerful recreation attraction, but have massively untapped potential. The commission made several recommendations to enhance recreation opportunities available at these lakes, but unfortunately bad laws constrained them from making any real changes. As the National Park Service Centennial brings new focus to recreation opportunities on the nation’s public lands and waters, ARC is revitalizing these ideas.

Federal Agencies Announce Fee Free Days for 2016

Federal land and water management agencies have announced their fee-free days for 2016! The National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will have no entrance fees on a combined 36 days, offering all Americans the opportunity to enjoy healthy, active outdoor fun on their public lands and waters. Most are linked to special holidays and events and there are often special offers by agency partners. Keep checking here as more and more partner events are announced. The 2016 fee-free days are:

  • National Park Service: January 18 (Martin Luther King Day), April 16-24 (National Park Week), August 25-28 (National Park Service Birthday), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), November 11 (Veterans Day)
  • Wyoming Governor Matt Mead's Efforts to Champion Outdoors Benefit WY Nonprofit

    WY GOVERNOR MATT MEAD’S EFFORTS TO CHAMPION OUTDOORS BENEFIT WYOMING NONPROFIT
    This release is available as a PDF here

    Cheyenne, WY (December 11, 2015) – The Great Outdoors Month™ Partnership recently selected Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s 2015 Public Service Announcement (PSA) promoting healthy, active outdoor fun as one of three national winners. The selection entitled the Governor to designate a nonprofit organization helping to connect America’s kids to the outdoors for a donation. At a December 9 gathering in his office, Governor Mead presented the “WY Outside” program with the $1,000 action grant to support its important work.

    Governor Matt Mead to Receive Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award in Cheyenne

    GOVERNOR MATT MEAD TO RECEIVE SHELDON COLEMAN GREAT OUTDOORS AWARD IN CHEYENNE
    This news release is available as a PDF here

    Washington, D.C. (December 7, 2015) - Wyoming Governor Matt Mead will receive one of two 2015 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Awards at a ceremony in Cheyenne, Wyoming December 9. Recreation leaders from the private and public sectors will join the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and The Coleman Company to present Governor Mead with the recreation community's most prestigious award. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will receive 2015’s second award in Jefferson City at a later date. In addition, plans are underway to honor the Governors in Washington, D.C. during February 2016.

    Subcommittee on Federal Lands to Hold Legislative Hearing on Discussion Draft of the "National Park Service Centennial Act"

    Subcommittee on Federal Lands to Hold Legislative Hearing on Discussion Draft of the “National Park Service Centennial Act”

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at 10:00 AM, in Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold a legislative hearing on the discussion draft of the “National Park Service Centennial Act.”

    WHAT: Subcommittee on Federal Lands legislative hearing on “National Park Service Centennial Act” discussion draft

    WHEN: Wednesday, December 2, 10:00 AM

    National Park Service Solicits Letters to the Future from Local Students

    NATIONAL PARK SERVICE SOLICITS LETTERS TO THE FUTURE FROM LOCAL STUDENTS
    This press release is available as a PDF here

    Bushkill, PA -- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue is asking students in grades K-12 to write a letter to the future. The letters will be buried in a time capsule for the next 50 years. “We celebrated our 50th anniversary this year and the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016,” explained Donahue. In commemoration of these two historic milestones, employees at the park are sending a message to the future. “We want that message to include the voices of today’s youth since they will be the ones entrusted with the care of special places like this in the future.”

    Positive Outlook for Outdoor Recreation in 2016

    POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR OUTDOOR RECREATION IN 2016
    This news release is available as a PDF here

    Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2015) – Outdoor recreation leaders report good sales and activities for 2015 and expectations of still stronger activity in 2016, according to a new report from the American Recreation Coalition, Outdoor Recreation Outlook 2016. Americans spend more than $650 billion annually on equipment ranging from skis and tents to RVs and boats and on services ranging from fishing licenses to zip lines, supporting millions of jobs in manufacturing, sales and service. And renewed interest in outreach and promotion by federal land and water management agencies – based around the National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration – is creating new opportunities for Americans everywhere to enjoy their great outdoors.

    Governors Matt Mead and Jay Nixon Receive 2015 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award

    GOVERNORS MATT MEAD AND JAY NIXON RECEIVE 2015 SHELDON COLEMAN GREAT OUTDOORS AWARD
    This news release is also available as a pdf here

    Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon have been selected to receive the 2015 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award – the recreation community's most prestigious award. The awards will be presented to each Governor in his office by leaders of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and The Coleman Company. In addition, plans are underway to honor the Governors in Washington, D.C. during February 2016.

    ARC Presents at Society of American Travel Writers Convention In Las Vegas

    ARC PRESENTS AT SOCIETY OF AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITERS CONVENTION IN LAS VEGAS

    American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall addressed some 400 travel journalists, editors and publishers as part of the Society of American Travel Writers Convention in Las Vegas October 6. Crandall outlined the National Park Service Centennial, as well as new ways federal land and water management agencies are trying to connect with an increasingly urban and technologically-minded public.

    Major Centennial programs Crandall discussed included Every Kid in a Park, Find Your Park, NPS’ Urban Agenda, the Centennial Challenge program and more. Crandall also talked about new opportunities for active, outdoor fun on federal lands including summer activities like hiking, biking, zip lining and more at major ski resorts – 60% of which are on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.