ARC: Great Outdoors Month Most Successful
With proclamations from President Barack Obama and all 50 governors – as well as public-service announcementss by governors Butch Otter, R-Idaho, and Mike Beebe, D-Ark., urging their citizens to enjoy the great outdoors – “enthusiasm at the highest levels was clear,” the national organization said in a written announcement.
A record number of events were held to celebrate Great Outdoors Month including:
- National Kids to Parks Day, hosted by the National Park Trust.
- The largest ever National Trails Day, hosted by the American Hiking Society.
- National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated nationally by Take Me Fishing.
- The 13th annual National Marina Day, organized by the Association of Marina Industries.
- The largest ever National Get Outdoors Day, hosted by the U.S. Forest Service and ARC.
- The largest ever Great American Backyard Campout, hosted by the National Wildlife Federation.
The first Great Outdoors Month was proclaimed in 2004 by President George W. Bush, who cited the public’s shared legacy of parks, forests, refuges and other places and calling for both enjoyment and protection of these special places. He also noted the special efforts of public lands volunteers.
The proclamation was suggested by the Great Outdoors Month Coalition, comprising more than 60 organizations and companies.
Speaking for the coalition, Derrick Crandall expressed appreciation for the president’s actions and sentiments. “June 2004 was the very first Presidentially-proclaimed Great Outdoors Month and President Bush’s action clearly stimulated new and coordinated activities to connect the American public with the outdoors,” Crandall said at the time.
“The nation now understands that recreation is much more than fun. It is also a vital tool to improving our physical, mental and spiritual wellness,” he said.
ARC is a Washington-based nonprofit organization formed in 1979. Since its inception, ARC has sought to catalyze public/private partnerships to enhance and protect outdoor recreational opportunities and the resources upon which such experiences are based. ARC organizes and conducts national conferences and meetings and disseminates information regarding recreational needs and initiatives through a variety of means, including a monthly newsletter and its website www.funoutdoors.com. ARC also monitors legislative and regulatory proposals that influence recreation and works with government agencies and the U.S. Congress to study public-policy issues that will shape future recreational opportunities.
Read the full report on Great Outdoors Month 2014 by the American Recreation Coalition.