Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama Declares Great Outdoors Month, June 2009

President Obama declared June 2009 to be the Great Outdoors Month. While talking about the many outdoor opportunities the United States offers from rural and urban settings to state and national parks in his press release, the President spoke of the health benefits these settings offer. He also stated:

"My Administration is working to connect America's youth with our treasured landscapes, which should be viewed as classrooms for environmental education and gateways to careers in natural resources. These efforts will include outreach to those who typically lack representation in, and exposure to, these fields."

To achieve this goal, the President also announced:

"The Department of the Interior is launching a summer mentoring initiative as part of this effort. This program invites families and friends to teach children about the joys and wonders of the outdoors. My Administration is also increasing the number of youth involved in national service on public lands. Through AmeriCorps and other programs and partnerships, we can continue our Nation's proud tradition of service and respect for the environment."

It's an exciting time for Environmental Education indeed! According to the American Recreation Coalition, "Presidential recognition of Great Outdoors Week was begun in 1997 by then-President Clinton and has continued ever since. Since 2004, Presidential proclamation of Great Outdoors Month has come annually, celebrating a variety of important events and actions that occur during the month. Great Outdoors Month highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges, and other public lands and waters. Media attention to the proclamation triggers actions by millions of households and prompts public discussion of important issues linked to outdoor recreation, including volunteerism, health, and outdoor ethics."

In addition to the Presidential declarations, many state governors have also issued declarations for Great Outdoors Month. Governor Huntsman was one of these state governors and deemed June 2009 to be the Utah Great Outdoors Month.

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