Great Outdoors Week 2006, slated to run June 12-17 in Washington, D.C., will highlight efforts underway to enhance outdoor recreation for all Americans in the 21st century.
The annual program, coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), will offer a series of forums throughout the week focusing on volunteerism, public-private partnerships, improving health through recreation, ensuring strong recreational trails and the scenic byways programs.
The event runs concurrent with RVIA Committee Week June 12-15 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel.
According to ARC, Great Outdoors Week will feature events hosted by more than a dozen federal agencies and national organizations.
Public/private cooperative ventures – like “Take Pride in America” – will be highlighted, along with presentations of key awards, including the 18th annual Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award, ARC’s Legends Awards and the second annual Beacon Awards.
Other scheduled events during Great Outdoors Week will include:
• A “National Recreation Issues Update” and a Recreation Policy Forum on “21st Century Models for Partnerships in the Great Outdoors” hosted by ARC, ReserveAmerica and PricewaterhouseCoopers
• A briefing by National Parks Services Director Fran Mainella on response to advisory board recommendations regarding the agency’s role in increasing the public’s physical activity through recreation.
• ARC’s June Recreation Exchange will feature Dale Hall, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Dale Bosworth, chief of the Forest Service (invited), speaking about current and future recreation priorities.
A special focus this year will be on “Byways 2021,” an initiative celebrating the the National Scenic Byways program’s 15 years while seeking to create a blueprint for the future of America’s byways.
For the third year, the Washington-focused Great Outdoors Week will be a key component of Great Outdoors Month in June. First proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2004, Great Outdoors Month includes a long list of recreation community events and meetings, including National Trails Day and National Fishing and Boating Week.