Presidential, Senate Proclamations Kick Off Great Outdoors Month
June 2022 celebration will focus on growing diversity, equity, and inclusion through Together Outdoors
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) – along with federal, state, private, and nonprofit partners across the country – is celebrating June as Great Outdoors Month®, a national celebration of outdoor recreation on America’s treasured lands and waters. Great Outdoors Month®, which began as Great Outdoors Week under President Clinton, has been proclaimed by every president since 1998 and has been unanimously declared by the Senate each year since 2017. 2022 is no different.
On May 31, 2022, President Biden issued the 25th consecutive presidential proclamation of Great Outdoors Month® saying, “As part of my Administration’s efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion, we are committed to ensuring that everyone can access and enjoy America’s great outdoors. Outreach efforts — including the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program — expand trails, conserve rivers, and restore green space so that more people can benefit.”
On May 26, 2022, led by Senators Steve Daines (R -MT) and Gary Peters (D-MI), the Senate unanimously passed its 6th consecutive resolution saying, “regular outdoor recreation is associated with economic growth, positive health outcomes, an d better quality of life,” and “it is imperative that the United States ensure that access to outdoor recreation is inclusive, equitable, and available to all its people for generations to come.”
“As a fifth generation Montanan and avid sportsman, I’m glad to designate June 2022 as ‘Great Outdoors Month®’,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). “From hunting, to fly -fishing, to backpacking, exploring the great outdoors is part of our Montana way of life. I encourage folks to get outside and experience everything our national parks and public lands have to offer.”
Great Outdoors Month® consists of events engaging millions of people in all 50 states throughout the month of June. Thousands of events, each with their own rich history and coordinated by partner organizations, celebrate all facets of the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, and encourage people to get outdoors during June and beyond. Events include:
- Kids to Parks Day – coordinated by the National Park Trust (May 21st )
- American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® (June 3rd )
- National Fishing and Boating Week – coordinated by the National Boating and Fishing Foundation (June 3rd -11t h )
- Great Outdoors Month® Day of Service (June 9th ) – coordinated by The Corps Network
- National Get Outdoors Day (June 11th ) – coordinated by ORR
- National Go RVing Day (June 11th ) – coordinated by Go RVing
- Great American Campout (kicking off June 25th ) – coordinated by the National Wildlife Federation
- National Marina Days (all summer) – coordinated by the Association of Marina Industries
This year, Great Outdoors Month® has an organizing theme based on the principles of the Together Outdoors initiative. Together Outdoors is a coalition of outdoor businesses and organizations working to make the outdoors more inclusive. During June, ORR with Together Outdoors and partner organizations will message around growing diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation through education and action. By collectively orienting messaging 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.
“We’re thrilled that President Biden and the Senate have once again recognized June as Great Outdoors Month® said Jessica Turner, president of ORR. “As the end of spring and the beginning of summer with school out, summer vacations starting and the outdoors beckoning – June is an incredible time to get outdoors and enjoy everything our public lands and waters have to offer. And this year, by working with Together Outdoors, we can take major strides towards ensuring all Americans have positive, welcoming experiences in their great outdoors.”
“For many Americans, the outdoors is a place of solace and respite, a place to disconnect from the rigors of life. But for others, particularly folks of marginalized communities, the former concept is complicated due to historical and contemporary acts of discrimination and disenfranchisement,” said Gerry Seavo James, coalition lead for Together Outdoors . “Our hope through Great Outdoors Month® is to continue to uplift and champion everyone leading the cause for inclusion in the outdoors so that one day the outdoors truly becomes a fun and welcoming space for all.”
To learn more or get involved, check out the Great Outdoors Month® toolkit. To learn more about events taking place during June, click here.