As the nation begins reopening the economy, responsible outdoor recreation should be at the forefront of economic, social and mental recovery.
In that spirit, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable – the nation’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations comprised of 31 national association members serving 100,000 businesses – is proud to share what our partners will be doing to celebrate our public lands and waters, and recreation economy, during Great Outdoors Month® in June.
Great Outdoors Month® began in 1998 under President Bill Clinton as Great Outdoors Week and grew over the years into a month-long celebration of America’s public lands and waters with thousands of events across the country at the national, state and local levels.
This year, many organizations have adapted their events to take into account the effects of COVID-19 for example:
The National Park Trust took Kids to Parks Day digital and celebrated Parks to Kids Day, bringing a much-needed infusion of the outdoors to kids and families as they isolate at home and practice social distancing. National Park Trust provided at-home activities and distance learning opportunities to help bring the outdoors and parks to people across the country.
Similarly, the American Hiking Society is shifting its June 6 National Trails Day® from in-person events to digital activation to inspire individuals to unite for the protection of trails and access to public lands during this time of social-distancing. American Hiking Society has put together a promotional toolkit to help people take part.
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has joined forces with Discover Boating to launch an industry-wide campaign to “share the restorative power of recreational boating and fishing at a time when the wellbeing of Americans is front and center.”
The Corps Network will be hosting a virtual Corpsmember Development Day June 18 with sessions on Professional Development, Personal Growth, and Community Leadership.
The National Wildlife Federation is working to show how safely and responsibly connecting with wildlife and the outdoors can help people thrive during these unprecedented times, and planning is underway for the annual Great American Campout.
And, the National Park Service (NPS) will be recognizing the mental and physical benefits of time outdoors during Great Outdoors Month® through its “#MilitaryMondaysPlus” campaign, a partnership between Building Healthy Military Communities (a DoD project) and NPS’ Healthy Parks Healthy People. The program aims to identify the positive health benefits that our parks can bring both physically and mentally as they begin to reopen in the current COVID-19 environment.