Recreation community leaders have begun comprehensive planning for Great Outdoors Month 2014 beginning with Memorial Day weekend on May 24-26 and ending with Independence Day on July 4.

According to a press release, events include National Trails Day, National Fishing and Boating Week, National GO (Get Outdoors)Day, Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day and the Great American Backyard Campout.

Great Outdoors Month is officially proclaimed through proclamations issued by the President of the United States and all 50 state governors. The proclamations highlight the value of recreation to conservation causes while raising awareness of its national economic impact.

Great Outdoors Month co-chairs, which include Gregory Miller of the American Hiking Society, Kevin Coyle of the National Wildlife Federation and Derrick Crandall of the American Recreation Coalition, convened for the first coordination session on Jan. 9.

Several partnership opportunities were discussed that would link the event with The Coleman Company, SC Johnson’s OFF and national youth organizations. The agenda also covered plans for new activities at the state level – including Capital Camp-Outs, VIP tours of state and national recreation sites and initiatives to attract more families with young children and Americans living in urban areas to public lands and waters in cooperation with libraries, social service agencies and more.

Crandall commented, “Great Outdoors Month partners will present a stronger and more unified voice for recreation all across America. Working together, we can really make a difference.”

Great Outdoors Month co-chairs will brief leaders of key federal agencies hosting more than a billion recreation visits annually and other key national leaders about plans for the month in the near future.

In addition to the three lead entities, organizations participating in the meeting included the American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Association of Marina Industries, Children and Nature Network, The Corps Network, Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation, International Mountain Bicycling Association, National Recreation and Park Association, National Park Service, National Park Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, National Tour Association, NatureBridge, RVDA – The National RV Dealers Association, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Student Conservation Association, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.