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June is designated as Great Outdoors Month each year through a Presidential Proclamation, and highlights the numerous benefits of active fun outdoors and the magnificent shared resources of our parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and waters.


June is Great Outdoors Month

The annual event includes Great Outdoors Week in Washington, D.C

From American Recreation Coalition

Key outdoor recreation leaders have once again asked the President, all 50 governors, and other key officials to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamations will reflect the nationwide attention being given to the economic importance of recreation and the special role of the Great Outdoors in re-establishing the United States 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.

Great Outdoors Month features include National Trails Day®, National Fishing and Boating Week, the Great American Backyard Campout, and National Get Outdoors Day. Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, hosted by the Association of Marina Industries, will also be celebrated across the nation during June.


photo of big group with signs

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with hikers near
the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, N.C., April 23, 2010
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama's proclamation this year stated, "Great Outdoors Month is a time for all Americans to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors. Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. This month, let us celebrate our natural heritage by experiencing it together."

The President also proclaimed that "Protecting our environment is not only a duty to our children; it is an economic imperative. Visitors to our public lands contribute billions of dollars to local economies, and I am committed to supporting this engine of growth. As part of our National Travel and Tourism Strategy, my Administration is working to increase visits to our national parks and scenic places. This initiative will help support small businesses and drive job growth across our country."

The gubernatorial Great Outdoors Month proclamations began several years ago, with 2010 marking the first year proclamations had been issued in all 50 states. While the state proclamations vary in emphasis and reflect key state features, most praise volunteerism, the power of outdoor recreation to contribute to happier, healthier lifestyles, and the legacy of parks and public lands and waters.

The Presidential and state proclamations are available at

Great Outdoors Week Background

Each June since 1996, hundreds of leaders of America's recreation community have gathered in Washington, D.C., to take part in meetings and events designed to:

  • Increase the visibility of outdoor recreation on the national policy-making level
  • Heighten the understanding and appreciation ofrecreation's importance to the nation's health, economy and quality of life
  • Provide an opportunity to highlight key recreation policy initiatives and programs
  • Recognize outstanding leadership on behalf of outdoor recreation
  • Support the efforts of the American Recreation Coalition

Participants include:

  • Corporate CEOs
  • Volunteers for nonprofit organizations
  • Federal and state agency officials
  • Journalists
  • Elected officials
  • Recreation facility operators, drawn from across the nation.

Topics of discussion range from the link between recreation and health to the need for increased public-land volunteerism, from partnerships and other tools to enhance recreation resources to building connections between urban children and the outdoors, from enhancing access to outdoor recreation opportunities to the designation of a nation commission on recreation policy.

Great Outdoor Week enjoys annual Presidential recognition through proclamations and messages and includes meetings with members of the President's Cabinet and Members of Congress.

For more information visit the American Recreation Coalition

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