National Get Outdoors Day Launched
Participants from dozens of federal agencies and non-profit organizations and the recreation industry gathered in Washington, D.C., Feb. 28 to launch National Get Outdoors Day, a new annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.
On June 14, 2008, and each June thereafter, these partners will offer sites for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting youth to the great outdoors, according to a news release.
The USDA Forest Service and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) jointly outlined plans for National Get Outdoors Day at the Outdoor Recreation Village at this year’s Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. ARC President Derrick Crandall opened the National Get Outdoors Day Coalition meeting with a video about the village, which drew an estimated 100,000 visitors. He noted that the village served as a testing ground for the National Get Outdoors Day concept. “We have a Super Bowl quality team in place. We may not know all the plays yet, but we have excellent talent. We can win back the hearts and minds of American kids to the Great Outdoors,” said Crandall.
National Get Outdoors Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, which encourages Americans, especially youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace the nation’s parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters. Working with the forest service, Get Outdoors USA! hosted six recreation forums and learned that public lands were missing the right triggers to capture the attention of today’s youth. ARC and the forest service have each pledged $100,000 to the initial National Get Outdoors Day effort.
Participants were invited to join the National Coordinating Committee and to take part in one or more of the initial action task forces: site identification, partner recruitment, communications and event support.
Members will identify and secure the commitment of 100 diverse sites for National Get Outdoors Day.
Site identification, partner recruitment and communication efforts are already underway for National Get Outdoors Day. Mountain High Resort in the Angeles National Forest and Big Bear Discovery Center in the San Bernardino National Forest, both in California; Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah, Boy Scouts Camp Snyder in Haymarket, Va.; and Callville Bay Marina in Lake Mead National Recreation Area straddling Nevada and Arizona are already proposed official National Get Outdoors Day sites.
Partner agreements with The Coleman Co. and other outdoor recreation industry companies are being finalized. Promising discussions with A-list Hollywood celebrities, NFL stars and national media partners are yielding high interest in this special event.
To find out more about Get Outdoors USA!, go to: www.getoutdoorsusa.org.