ARCLogoBox_290x70President Barack Obama and the governors from each state have proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month, a bipartisan celebration of America’s diverse and treasured outdoor recreation sites and the passion Americans have for conservation and volunteerism.

“During Great Outdoors Month, governors, communities, business leaders, and organizations will host thousands of events across the country to celebrate our unparalleled outdoors,” said Obama in an announcement from the American Recreation Coalition (ARC). “I encourage Americans to participate in these activities and to take the time to experience the natural grandeur of our nation. As we enjoy these magnificent places, let us rededicate ourselves to doing our part to preserve them for all future explorers, adventurers, and environmental stewards.”

Great Outdoors Month has expanded, mirroring growth in outdoor recreation, which now involves more than $650 billion in consumer spending annually. It focuses public and private attention on teh country’s shared public lands and waters. Champions of the month also note the contribution of time outdoors to mental and physical health.

Numerous events are scheduled across the country celebrate Great Outdoors Month including free fishing opportunities during National Fishing and Boating Week (June 6- 14); thousands of work and fun events on American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day (June 6); National Marina Day and National Get Outdoors Day, both offering easy introductions to outdoor fun (June 13); National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout (June 27) and more. See information on Great Outdoors Month events at www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org.

National partners including The Coleman Co., OFF! and hundreds of federal, state, corporate and nonprofit organizations support Great Outdoors Month’s goal to connect all Americans with our great outdoors.

Capital Campouts will happen with 13 governors welcoming urban youth and families to camp out on the grounds of their governor’s residence or in nearby state parks. 2015’s hosts are Govs. John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Jack Markell (Del.), Mike Pence (Ind.), Terry Branstad (Iowa), Sam Brownback (Kan.), Charlie Baker (Mass.), Jay Nixon (Mo.), Steve Bullock (Mont.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Gina Raimondo (R.I.), Terry McAuliffe (Va.), Jay Inslee (Wash.), and Matt Mead (Wyo.).