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June is "Great Outdoors Month"

Great Outdoors Week: Washington, D.C., June 9-15, 2008

From American Recreation Coalition

Presidential Proclamation

June is designated as Great Outdoors Month each year through a Presidential Proclamation. Great Outdoors Month highlights the numerous benefits of active fun outdoors and the magnificent shared resources of our parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and waters. The annual proclamations, widely reported in the media, trigger actions by millions of households and prompt public discussion of important issues linked to outdoor recreation, including volunteerism, health, and outdoor ethics. In addition, 25 Governors have now signed "Great Outdoors Month" Proclamations - we expect to end the month with a record 40 states officially designating June as Great Outdoors Month.

To view the 2008 Presidential Proclamation and the state proclamations,
go to:

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Named as 20th Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award Recipient

The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, has been selected by a distinguished panel of more than 100 recreation and conservation community leaders across the nation to be honored as the recipient of the 20th Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award. Since 1989, the American Recreation Coalition has presented this prestigious award to an individual whose "personal efforts have contributed substantially to enhancing outdoor experiences in America." America's recreation community leaders recognized Secretary Kempthorne's efforts as enhancing the experience of millions in the Great Outdoors today and long into the future.

Great Outdoors Week: Washington, D.C., June 9-15, 2008

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 of recreation'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 CEO's
* 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.

Among the week's core events for 2008 are:

* The 20th Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award presentation

* The first-ever National Get Outdoors Day

* A special screening of the PBS documentary "Where Do the Children Play?"

* The presentation of ARC's Legends Awards to federal agency officials

* National awards by the Coalition for Recreational Trails

* A special Recreation Exchange featuring U.S. Department of the Interior Chief of Staff Brian Waidmann

* Numerous special events will be held, sponsored by many recreation organizations and coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition.

* Great Outdoors Week 2008 Schedule

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