Excitement is growing across the nation about plans for Great Outdoors Week and Great Outdoors Month starting Saturday (June 1).
According to a news release, Great Outdoors Month celebrates a variety of important events and actions that occur during June, and highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges and other public lands and waters. Great Outdoors Week (June 1-8) showcases efforts enhancing outdoor recreation for all Americans in the 21st century through awards, briefings and other events in the Nation’s Capital.
Great Outdoors Week is coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and includes events co-hosted by more than a dozen federal agencies and national organizations:
- Great Outdoors Week’s action-packed schedule begins on Monday with presentation of the Beacon Awards – honoring innovative uses of technology in public lands management to boost visitor experiences and to better manage visits – at the Department of the Interior’s Stewart Udall Building followed by the week’s opening reception – an ice cream social.
- On Tuesday, ARC’s Legends Awards, honoring outstanding public land management employees, will precede the Great Outdoors Week Recreation Exchange Luncheon. That same day, the Recreational Trails Program award ceremony and briefing will be held on Capitol Hill.
- On Wednesday, the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award will be presented to a leading public figure whose personal efforts have significantly enhanced opportunities for others to enjoy the outdoors and a special program on the National Mall will focus on Healthy Food in Parks and the role of recreation in a happy, healthy nation.
- On Saturday, public and private partners across the nation will team up to help tens of thousands of youth have fun outdoor adventures, typically close by the urban homes of these youth. Federal agencies, state and local park agencies, recreation businesses, healthcare companies and enthusiast groups will host National Get Outdoors Day events at nearly 150 locations and help these youth and their families begin a new chapter of their lives exploring and enjoying the incredible shared legacy of America’s Great Outdoors.
For more information, see www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org/.
Great Outdoors Month will again highlight important initiatives across the country helping Americans pursue healthier, outdoor lives. These initiatives include National Trails Day (June 1), National Fishing and Boating Week (June 1-9), the Great American Backyard Campout (June 22), National Get Outdoors Day (June 8), and more. Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day will also be celebrated across the nation on June 8.
A large coalition of outdoor recreation leaders has once again asked the President, all 50 governors and other key officials to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamations provide nationwide attention to the economic importance of recreation and the special role of the Great Outdoors in re-establishing the U.S. as a major destination for international visitors. The nation’s health community is also increasingly vocal regarding the benefits of active time in the Great Outdoors as key to better health, better education and support for conservation.
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.
According to a press release, the week begins with the observance of National Get Outdoors (GO) Day on June 11 and 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 U.S.
The GO-Day launch of Great Outdoors Week will be marked at more than 100 sites where the public – especially young people – will be invited to enjoy different recreation activities and learn about additional, easily accessible recreation opportunities.
The U.S. Forest Service will celebrate GO-Day as Fee Free Day, waiving fees on millions of acres of national forests. And dozens of marina operators celebrating National Marina Day on June 11 will welcome thousands of visitors to these family-friendly gateways to wonderful boating experiences.
Programs featured during Great Outdoors Week will include: the Obama administration’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to link the American people to their magnificent public lands; the Let’s Move Outside campaign launched by first lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity; the ED OUT partnership program to encourage outdoor learning and fun; and the Recreational Trails Program, which serves as the foundation for state trail programs all across the country.
Great Outdoors Week will also include several different award ceremonies recognizing individual and collective achievements within the recreation community. The Coalition for Recreational Trails will salute outstanding trail programs and projects funded by the federal Recreational Trails Program. ARC will present its Legends Awards to exceptional individuals from seven federal agencies whose personal efforts have led to substantial improvements in outdoor recreation resources and management. ARC’s Beacon Awards will recognize the innovative use of technology in visitor services and recreation management on public lands. And, finally, the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award – the recreation community’s most prestigious award – will recognize the leadership, vision and accomplishments of one extraordinary individual whose personal commitment to the value and importance of recreation has contributed significantly to the welfare of the American people.
“Great Outdoors Week gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the people, places and programs that bring healthy outdoor fun to millions of Americans every day of the year,” said ARC President Derrick Crandall. “They really put the ‘Great’ into the Great Outdoors.”
The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) has 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 Tuesday (June 9) 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.
- Laurie A. Thorpe, U.S. Forest Service.
To read the full story, visit www.funoutdoors.com.