GOM 2009

GO-Day 2009

To combat the threats posed by today’s indoor, inactive lifestyles – such as the growing obesity epidemic and the projection that today’s kids will live shorter lives than their parents due to lifestyle choices – several hundred local, state and federal agencies, diverse nonprofit organizations in the health and youth-services fields, the recreation community and media interests teamed up to host the second annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO-Day) on June 13, 2009. The national effort was again led by the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), but the number and diversity of the organizations involved nationally and locally increased sharply. Uniting these partners was a shared belief in the Mission of National Get Outdoors Day:

Unify public and private-sector interests in efforts to influence American lifestyles, especially among youth, in ways that maximize the physical, mental and other benefits derived from activities in the Great Outdoors through a focused effort to invite Americans to designated sites on a single day, as well as to highlight and assist the efforts of National Get Outdoors Day partners year-round.

GO-Day 2009 was built around offering opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities, regardless of past experience, skills or ownership of equipment. Those Americans currently underserved by visits to public lands and waters and youth – especially urban youth – were priority targets for the events. GO-Day organizers accepted a challenge: making the appeal of the great outdoors equal that of shopping malls and video games. And they met this challenge with exceptional results.

Great Outdoors Week 2009 Report

Washington, D.C. – Hundreds of recreation community leaders, allies and friends groups gathered in Washington, D.C. to participate in meetings, events and celebrations of the significant contributions of the recreation community during Great Outdoors Week 2009 (June 7-13).

Accomplishments of Beacon Award recipients, achievements of the Recreational Trails Program, the status of the Scenic Byways Program, the second National Get Outdoors Day, the need to connect children to nature and more were addressed in gatherings during the week. The American Recreation Coalition’s Legends Awards honoring the outstanding efforts and contributions of exemplary federal agency employees and recreation community leaders also contributed to the Week’s excitement.

Great Outdoors Week is coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and includes events co-hosted by more than a dozen national organizations and federal agencies. Great Outdoors Week is the central feature of Great Outdoors Month, a month-long celebration of outdoor recreation that also highlights National Trails Day (June 6), National Fishing and Boating Week (June 6-14), National Get Outdoors Day (June 13), the Great American Backyard Campout (June 27) and more.

To read the full report, click here.

Ice Cream Social

L to R: NPS Acting Director Dan Wenk, Erle Hug of Unilever, Beacon Award Winner Cindy Sample of USFWS, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Legends Award Winner Kelly Blackledge of USFWS

ARC Salutes 2009 Legends Award Winners

Washington, D.C. — The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) presented its 2009 Legends Awards to seven federal managers in recognition of their outstanding work to improve outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities for the American people. The awards were presented on June 9, 2009 during Great Outdoors Week – ARC’s celebration of the value and importance of outdoor recreation. Initiated by ARC in 1991, the Legends Award program involves seven federal agencies: 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 the U.S. Forest Service. Each agency nominates an individual whose extraordinary personal efforts have made a real difference in enhancing outdoor recreation programs and resources.

Recipients of the 2009 Legends Awards are: James Jennings, Bureau of Land Management; Jay Leasure, Bureau of Reclamation; Dan Johnson, Federal Highway Administration; Christopher K. Jarvi, National Park Service; Miles Johnson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Kelly Blackledge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Laurie A. Thorpe, U.S. Forest Service.

American Recreation Coalition Announces 2009 Beacon Award Winners

Washington, D.C. - The 2009 recipients of ARC’s Beacon Awards, which recognize outstanding efforts by federal agencies and partners in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management, were honored during Great Outdoors Week on Monday, June 8. Winners of the 2009 Beacon Awards are:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its nonprofit partner, the Great Smoky Mountains Association, for innovation in the use of technology for visitor services and education related to the planning, promotion, and implementation of the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to a robust new website with a great deal of information on the park's history and features, the partners used the information to develop themed sales items that related to the anniversary and developed an innovative partnership with other organizations in the area, including Dollywood, for displays and sales of the items.

President Obama Proclaims June as Great Outdoors Month, Governors Join In

June has been officially designated Great Outdoors Month by President Barack Obama and nearly all of America’s governors. The proclamations were suggested by a coalition of dozens of recreation and conservation organizations, many of which coordinate special events held during June, including National Trails Day®, National Fishing and Boating Week, National Get Outdoors Day and the Great American Backyard Campout.

President Obama’s proclamation states, “The United States is blessed with unparalleled natural beauty. From remote forests to urban parks, these spaces have inspired visitors for generations.” It goes on to say, “Exploring the great outdoors can also help improve one's health. These spaces provide countless venues for walking, hiking, running, swimming, and boating, among other activities. Americans can combine the enjoyment of being outside with the exercise we all need to stay healthy.”

Great Outdoors Month 2009 Proclamations

June is a special time to celebrate America’s Great Outdoors. Presidential recognition of Great Outdoors Week was begun in 1997 by then-President Clinton and has continued ever since. Since 2004, Presidential proclamation of Great Outdoors Month has come annually, celebrating a variety of important events and actions that occur during the month. Great Outdoors Month highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges, and other public lands and waters. Media attention to the proclamation triggers actions by millions of households and prompts public discussion of important issues linked to outdoor recreation, including volunteerism, health, and outdoor ethics.

Additionally, the majority of governors issue proclamations declaring June as Great Outdoors Month in their states, and many take further actions ranging from Governor’s Outdoor Conferences to hosting campouts for local kids on their state capitol grounds.

State proclamations of Great Outdoors Month 2009 will be posted here as they arrive.

To download the Great Outdoors Month 2009 Proclamations Powerpoint, click here.