GOM 2011

GO Day is Nationwide Success

Washington, D.C. – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and USDA Forest Service-led 2011 National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) is over, but its accomplishments continue. GO Day received significant electronic and print media coverage leading up to – and since – June 11. Tens of thousands of children across the country enjoyed various outdoor activities last Saturday at GO Day events. Their fun was made possible by hundreds of national and local partners that staffed activity centers and provided other support at approximately 150 sites. The First Lady’s Let’s Move Outside campaign’s blogsite, the Let’s Move blog, carried a synopsis of the day with photos: “The U.S. Forest Service and community partners have been encouraging children and their families across the country to spend time reconnecting with nature, trying new recreation activities and just having some good fun.”

Among the major media “scores” by GO Day were all three major TV stations in Denver. ABC News picked up the story in at least two regions, interviewing GO Day coordinators in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. WAMU 88.5 – an affiliate of National Public Radio – also picked up the story, interviewing ARC President Derrick Crandall about local efforts in Washington, D.C.

June 11, 2011 marked the fourth year that participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry teamed up to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. These diverse partners offered opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the national celebration included reaching currently underserved populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors. Details on the activities at various GO Day sites are available at: http://www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org/locations/.

ARC Salutes 2011 Legends Award Winners

Washington, D.C. – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) presented its 2011 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 16, 2011, during Great Outdoors Week – ARC’s celebration of the value and importance of outdoor recreation. Initiated by ARC in 1991, the Legends Award program calls on federal land management agencies to nominate an individual whose extraordinary personal efforts have made a real difference in enhancing outdoor recreation programs and resources. The 2011 Legends Award recipients represent the Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation, agencies together hosting more than a billion recreation visits annually.

Winners of the 2011 Legends Awards are: Tracy N. Fancher, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; William Kuntz, Bureau of Land Management; Rita Hennessy, National Park Service; Mark Hoines, Federal Highway Administration; Lynne Beeson, U.S. Forest Service; Jennifer Jewett, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Peggi Brooks, Bureau of Reclamation.

Secretaries Salazar and Vilsack, CEQ Chair Sutley and EPA Administrator Jackson Receive 2011 Coleman Great Outdoors Award

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson have been chosen to receive the 2011 Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award, the recreation community's most prestigious award. The award is presented to individuals whose personal efforts have contributed substantially to enhancing outdoor experiences across America.

The selection of shared recipients for the award, created in 1989, is unprecedented and reflects widespread enthusiasm within the recreation community for the unity and focus the four Cabinet-rank officials of the Obama Administration have provided to national recreation policy through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. “These four national leaders have worked to stimulate broad and open public debate, to collect best practices, to explore new ideas, including the linkage between health and the Great Outdoors, and to relate America’s Great Outdoors to 21st century lifestyles and issues,” said Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition. “The report to the President that they prepared has already brought about changes and creates the framework for continuing the tradition of global conservation leadership this nation has provided and enriching the precious legacy all Americans share in our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters.”

ARC Announces 2011 Beacon Award Winners

Washington, D.C. – The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) has selected six federal programs and efforts as recipients of the 2011 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. Beacon Awards were first presented by the American Recreation Coalition in 2005. Nominations are made by federal agencies and are judged against the award criteria – which are:
1) Innovative use of technology for visitor services or recreation management;
2) Use of partnerships with for-profit and nonprofit organizations;
3) Efforts to share news of creative solutions within the agency; and
4) Community support for the work of this initiative.

Plans Announced for Great Outdoors Week

Washington, D.C. - Planning is well under way for another eventful Great Outdoors Week, the American Recreation Coalition's (ARC) annual celebration of outdoor recreation and its important contributions to the well-being of the American people and their communities. The Week, which begins with the observance of National Get Outdoors (GO) Day on Saturday, June 11, 2011, will include special events showcasing key recreation programs and recognizing the outstanding efforts being undertaken across the country to improve outdoor recreation experiences. Great Outdoors Week is one of the focal points of Great Outdoors Month, proclaimed nationwide by the President and by state governors in every state throughout the United States.

Great Outdoors Month 2011 State Proclamations

June is a special time to celebrate America’s Great Outdoors. Presidential recognition of Great Outdoors Week was begun in 1998 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 2011 will be posted here as they arrive.