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News for July 4, 2022

Great Outdoors Month Celebration Begins

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Every June, Americans mark the Great Outdoors Month by going outdoors for another responsible and healthy outdoor recreation on local, state, and federal lands and waters, stated a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).

Since its creation in 1998 under President Bill Clinton as Great Outdoors Week, the commemoration has grown over the years into a month-long celebration of the country’s public lands and waters at the national, state, and local levels with thousands of events across the country.

Five consecutive presidents have issued Great Outdoors Month proclamations. Annually, the Senate also designates June as a month to celebrate the outdoors and recognize outdoor recreation’s contributions to the mental, physical, and economic health of the United States.

Coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), the celebration includes events such as National Park Trusts’ Kids to Parks Day, RV Industry’s National Go RVing Day, and National Get Outdoors Day, coordinated by ORR and the U.S. Forest Service. Other events include American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout, the National Marina Days, coordinated by the Association of Marina Industries, and National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.

Some events last all summer such as the National Marina Days and The Great American Campout. As always, Americans can always hike, bike, camp, ride, fish, boat, and more in the great outdoors.

According to RVIA, many Americans are continuing to prioritize spending time outdoors, just as they have over the past two years.

“With this in mind, it’s as good a time as ever for us to shine a spotlight on the industry that helps us connect with nature, our families, communities, health, and wellness, and served as a respite from quarantines and stay at home orders,” the report mentioned.

Moreover, the outdoor recreation industry didn’t just grow over COVID-19,  but improved quality of life, created jobs, and upheld economies across the country, the RVIA said.

However, it must also be acknowledged that the pandemic has not been an economic boom for every community, business, or employee, and not every American has the same access to the outdoors.

“We take this to heart and it is why we as an industry are focused on working with rural communities to build or improve their outdoor recreation economies through resources like our rural economic development toolkit,” said the association.

This year, Great Outdoors Month will also focus on the principles of Together Outdoors, working to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation through education and action. By orienting around these principles, we can ensure People of Color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the disability community, and marginalized people of various backgrounds and faiths feel welcome in the outdoors and have their stories told.

RVIA also collaborated with outdoor recreation industry businesses to create the Together Outdoors coalition to raise awareness of equity and inclusion issues in outdoor experiences and awareness to help eliminate existing barriers.

“These past years have reminded us all how important getting outside is to our mental, physical, and economic health. The realization policymakers are having through Great Outdoors Month resolutions, proclamations, and GAOA investments is truly cause for celebration. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, the administration, and outdoor recreationists new and old to fully realize the potential of outdoor recreation to help our nation recover, rebuild, and reconnect in the coming years,” the statement ended.

To learn more about Great Outdoors Month, click here.

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