In 2021, ORR worked to ensure funding for outdoor recreation as part of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) American Rescue Plan funding. This effort was rewarded when EDA announced $750 million in funding for Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation projects, helping grow the recreation economy nationwide. $510 million of this funding was distributed in the form of state block grants, while $240 million is being distributed as competitive grants.
From this pool of competitive grant funding, ORR is highlighting the recreation-specific projects that EDA has chosen to fund. These recreation projects are generating wide-ranging positive impacts across the United States, including rural economic development, new recreation infrastructure, public health, and equitable access for all communities. This list will be updated as new awards are announced.
Totals (Updated 6/24):
$27,415,835 in direct EDA funding
$16,683,207 in local investment
Campus Enhancement Plan for the Homer Society of Natural History (Pratt Museum)
Homer/Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
$85,491, matched by $26,174 in local investment
Guide investment in and development of the Pratt Museum’s 10-acre parcel and fund the design for an ADA-accessible, covered outdoor amphitheater and pavilion. The museum is located in the City of Homer, Alaska, which serves remote communities accessible only by rugged road, boat, or plane, including Alaska Native villages located on remote coastline and secluded Russian Old Believer communities. Homer is the economic, education, health care, and cultural hub in the area, and it is one of the most important maritime harbors in the state. Once completed, the project is expected to encourage a dynamic downtown center to help assist in the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.
Supports: General outdoor recreation, Accessibility
Cedar River Recreational Project
City of Cedar Falls, Cedar Falls/Black Hawk County, Iowa
$1,500,000, matched by $3,331,450 in local investment
Construct a series of six jetties on both sides of the Cedar River in Cedar Falls, Iowa, improving the safety of a low head dam and changing the bank stabilization. The project will help Cedar Falls address the local and regional need for expanded riverfront tourism by improving river access infrastructure to support in-stream users interested in floating and paddling and on-bank users interesting in picnicking, playing, and angling. The economic impact of these increased outdoor recreation and tourism activities will support local businesses and business expansion, and create jobs and private investment, which will advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 129 jobs and leverage $295,000 in private investment.
Supports: River recreation
Expansion of Port Town Landing Pier
Town of St. George, Tenants Harbor/Knox County, Maine
$3,851,084, matched by $962,771 in local investment
Support the expansion of the Port Clyde town landing pier, to provide vehicle maneuvering room, and make miscellaneous improvements including, wheel stops, electric power and water to the floating docks, adding hydraulic hoists for catch/cargo, and installing facility lighting in Knox County, Maine. The Port Clyde Landing represents one of the only public facilities in the region that provides access for recreational boating, commercial fishing, and tourism related activities, all of which are key components of the local and regional economy. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 15 jobs and save 151 jobs.
Supports: Boating Infrastructure, Economic Development
Tailout Trail, Tom Lee Park
City of Memphis, Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee
$3,731,439, matched by $6,088,137 in local investment
The Tailout Trail, will be one-of-a-kind, inviting visitors up and (during high water) over river habitat for spectacular views of the Mississippi, the Arkansas floodplain and the more than 325 bird species. The project will draw national attention and support to Memphis and is expected to bring thousands of new visitors to the riverfront. These visitors will have a significant impact on nearby restaurants, music venues and hotels. Once completed, the Tailout Trail will be a major focal point for eco-tourism in Memphis, spawning new small businesses associated with river touring, biking, and hiking, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help leverage $2,800,000 in private investment.
Supports: Trail Activities, River Touring, Biking, Hiking, Economic Development
New multi-use path (bicycle and pedestrian) through Southbridge, Massachusetts
Town of Southbridge, Southbridge/Worcester County, Massachusetts
$2,623,625, matched by $1,500,000 in local investment
The Quinebaug Valley Rail Trail will expand upon the existing tourism industry in the region, as the trail will traverse downtown Southbridge and parallel to existing commercial corridors. By linking trails and businesses, the project will help boost the local economy in Southbridge and the region, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency in the area. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 45 jobs, save 25 jobs, and leverage $3,300,000 in private investment.
Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development
Trail infrastructure improvements to the Jack A. Markell Trail in Delaware
New Castle County, New Castle/New Castle County, Delaware
$822,800, matched by $205,700 in local investment
The project elements include grading, erosion and sedimentation control, paved surface replacement, landscaping, signage, and appurtenances, to improve access to outdoor recreation along the trail. In addition, improvements will include the demolition and removal of existing paved surfaces, which will be replaced with new and green infrastructure for stormwater management and streetscape vegetation, to provide new accessible paved surfaces, curbing, and ADA-accessible walkways. Once completed, the project will enhance the visitor experience in New Castle, which will assist in the area’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 15 jobs and save 30 jobs.
Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development
Support the planning and future construction of a riverfront street to redevelop downtown Soldotna in Alaska
City of Soldotna, Soldotna/Kenai Peninsula County, Alaska
$360,000, matched by $90,000 in local investment
The City of Soldotna has experienced significant job loss over the years and the project will allow Soldotna to leverage the region’s fishing and tourism industries by providing infrastructure on vacant and underutilized lands for developments of parks, streets, trails, etc. for business revitalization. These improvements will foster new private capital investment, partnerships, and job creation, while bolstering activity for existing businesses and improving the quality of the built environment for residents and visitors. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will advance economic resiliency throughout the region.
Supports: Fishing and Tourism, Trail Activities, Economic Development
Blackstone River Bikeway connecting Pawtucket and National Park Services Slater Mill Historic Park and the existing Blackstone Bikeway path
City of Pawtucket, Pawtucket/Providence County, Rhode Island
$4,812,600, matched by $1,357,400 in local investment
The project will also connect to a new Tidewater Landing mixed-use brownfields redevelopment anchored with an 11,000-seat United Soccer League soccer stadium and the Armory Arts District and other recreational resources in the city. The project will help addresses economic harm to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industry due to the coronavirus pandemic by increasing economic opportunity and creating jobs in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sectors. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 538 jobs and leverage $284,100,000 in private investment.
Supports: Bike Activities, Economic Development
Support water infrastructure improvements to develop the Greylock Glen Resort in Berkshire County, Massachusetts
Town of Adams, Adams/Berkshire County, Massachusetts
$2,894,500, matched by $1,240,500 in local investment
The town has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the development of this facility will significantly expand tourism and outdoor recreational opportunities in the area. The county relies on arts, entertainment, and recreation, as well as accommodation and food services to support a strong economy in its region. The project will help drive business back to the hospitality and tourism community, to enhance economic impact and reestablish tourism as the number one economic driver in the county. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 476 jobs and leverage $42,000,000 in private investment.
Supports: Water Infrastructure, Economic Development
Build 60-acre recreational vehicle (RV) campground at the wildlife conservation center to help attract tourists to 10,000-acre park
Cumberland/Guernsey County, Ohio
$2,155,616, matched by $700,000 in local investment
Support the International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals (The Wilds) in Ohio, with building a 60-acre recreational vehicle (RV) campground at the wildlife conservation center to help attract tourists to 10,000-acre park, which is located on reclaimed coal mine land along the Appalachian Byway. Throughout its history, the Guernsey County region relied on coal mining, and The Wilds facility was built on recovered coal mine land. The ongoing decline of the coal industry, together with sudden job losses and business closures, devastated the region’s economy in recent years. The RV campground will help the region recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and will drive economic activity, diversification, and resilience in the region’s growing tourism economy. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 100 jobs, save 25 jobs, and leverage $500,000 in private investment.
Supports: RV Infrastructure, Economic Development
Support the National Ability Center (NAC) with addressing the local and regional need for outdoor recreation programs and equipment for people with disabilities in Park City, Utah
Park City/Summit County, Utah
$371,678, matched by $92,920 in local investment
By increasing the number of programs and activities offered, hiring additional staff and instructors, and increasing equipment, NAC will be able to offer over 2,000 additional lessons throughout the year, which will increase equitable access to outdoor recreation and tourism activities in the region. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 14 jobs.
Supports: Disabled Access, Economic Development
Support development of the Mariposa Creek Trailhead and Destination Park
Mariposa County, Mariposa/Mariposa County, California
$671,500, matched by $200,000 in local investment
Support the long-term recovery of tourism in the county through expansion of recreational opportunities designed to make the county a year-round destination for visitors. The project will help businesses that rely on tourism in the area become more resilient to seasonal economic downturns and systemic shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.
Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development
Fund the Grand County Tourism Revitalization Project, to support the recovery and resilience of Grand County’s tourism and outdoor recreation economy
Grand County, Hot Sulphur Springs/Grand County, Colorado
$400,000, matched by $100,000 in local investment
The project will help the county extend the current summer and winter tourism seasons year-round and diversify the tourism sector by highlighting often overlooked tourist and outdoor reaction attractions in Colorado. By doing this, more stable, year-round jobs will be created, new business opportunities will arise to fill the gap of those that closed during the coronavirus pandemic and struggling businesses will receive needed support and promotion to grow. Once completed, the project will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region.
Supports: Economic Development
Support the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (BRPF) with establishing a strategic planning process to help engage community leaders in all 12 Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway counties
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, North Carolina
$393,193, matched by $102,689 in local investment
The BRPF will work alongside community leaders in each county to examine the Blue Ridge Parkway as a community asset and identify strategies to grow travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation in rural and underserved communities. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt all along the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor in Virginia and this project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, spur private investment, and promote the economic resilience of regions dependent on the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries.
Supports: Economic Development
Support the development of its new outdoor recreation trail plan
Slayton/Murray County, Minnesota
$167,198, matched by $41,800 in local investment
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southwest Minnesota region suffered devastating job losses and business closures. The project will conduct a study and analyses of the populations engaging in outdoor recreation and current community outreach efforts to assist the region in increasing tourism activity in the area. Once completed, the project will help the region become more resilient to fluctuations in tourism and capitalize outdoor recreation assets, which will help increase employment opportunities and spur private investment throughout the region.
Supports: Trail Activities, Economic Development
Support development of the Western Upper Peninsula Tourism Economic Impact Analysis, to help regional leaders better-understand how to capitalize on tourism and outdoor recreation as a regional economic driver in Hancock, Michigan
Hancock/Houghton County, Michigan
$119,913, matched by $29,979 in local investment
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the region’s tourism industry but also created demand and opportunities in outdoor recreation for the region. Once completed, the project will help the region respond to damage to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors from the coronavirus pandemic, which will enhance future economic sustainability, strengthen the regional economy, and bolster economic resiliency throughout the region.
Supports: Economic Development
Fund the Frost Fire Park Snowmaking Infrastructure Improvement and Expansion Project
Walhalla/Pembina County, North Dakota
$2,170,488, matched by $542,622 in local investment
Update infrastructure that will improve the quality and longevity of the winter sports activities in the park. The project will support Pembina Gorge Foundation with addressing the local and regional need for expanded and resilient tourism and outdoor recreation activities in the park. Once completed, the project will have direct economic impact on the park’s operations, particularly its winter sports season and other activities, which will drive and expand its business, increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 23 jobs.
Supports: Winter Sports, Economic Development
Support Triangle J Council of Governments with conducting a corridor feasibility and economic impact analysis to determine how to best leverage the Haw River to drive economic recovery within the travel and tourism sectors and facilitate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
Durham/Durham County, North Carolina
$284,260, matched by $71,065 in local investment
Additionally, the analysis will identify ways to capitalize on gaps and expand economic and community development opportunities, to help enhance economic impact and reestablish tourism as the number one economic driver in the area. Once completed, the project will assist in the region’s recovery and make it more resilient to fluctuations in tourism, which will help increase employment opportunities, save jobs, spur private investment, and advance economic resiliency throughout the region. The grantees estimate that this investment will help create 15 jobs and leverage $30,000 in private investment.
Supports: River Activities, Economic Development
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable today lauded the announcement made by United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, for $279 million distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
“Supporting public parks, conservation of lands and waters, and expanded outdoor access makes a lot of sense – that is why we applaud today’s announcement by the Department of the Interior about the distribution of $279 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to all 50 states for state and local outdoor recreation and conservation projects,” said Lesley Kane Syznal, Chair of the LWCF Coalition. “The best part about funding these state-identified projects is that it means more trails, local parks and outdoor access for more people close to where they live and play – that is what LWCF is all about.”
“It is fitting that the Department of the Interior announced this funding for state-identified recreation and conservation projects on the first day of Great Outdoors Month® when the outdoor recreation industry, local communities, organizations and businesses are celebrating the economic and health benefits of recreating outside,” said Jessica Turner, President of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “ORR applauds DOI and Secretary Haaland for committing this $279 million to all 50 states, U.S. territories and D.C. so that more Americans, no matter where they live, can enjoy the outdoors and support the economy of their local communities.”
See DOI’s announcement below:
Department of the Interior Announces $279 Million to Support Public Parks, Expand Outdoor Recreation Access
Funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund helps advance America the Beautiful conservation efforts
WASHINGTON – As the nation celebrates Great Outdoors Month, the Department of the Interior today announced the distribution of $279 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
“One of the best investments we can make is in stewarding the lands and waters that sustain us and the generations to come. Today we are making critical investments that will help expand access to the outdoors for communities across the country, all while creating jobs and safeguarding the environment from the effects of climate change,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an integral part of advancing President Biden’s conservation vision, which recognizes the need to address the nature and climate crises, improve equitable access to the outdoors, and strengthen the economy.”
Since its inception in 1965, the LWCF has funded $5.1 billion to support 45,000 projects in every county in the country. At no cost to taxpayers, the LWCF supports increased public access to and protection for federal public lands and waters — including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and recreation areas — and provides matching grants to state governments for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites.
The allocation for each state and territory is determined by a population-based apportionment formula set in the LWCF Act. States and territories further allocate these funds to local projects, usually through a competitive process. These investments help support the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative by supporting locally led outdoor recreation and conservation projects to protect and enhance our nation’s public lands and waters.
“Access to outdoor recreation helps strengthen and enrich communities,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps enable state and local governments to upgrade parks and recreation areas in their communities and create new outdoor spaces to ensure everyone has access to recreation opportunities close to home.”
Fiscal Year 2022 Total Apportionments by State/Territory
|District of Columbia||$2,370,657|
About the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
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, and 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-11th)
- 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 MonthÒ 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.”
Today, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) released results from its annual industry-wide Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) collection survey to highlight key projects eligible for the $900 million in mandatory annual funding thanks to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. In late 2021, ORR put out a call for critical outdoor recreation-related project ideas to outdoor recreation partners across the spectrum of recreation activities and around the country– including state Outdoor Recreation Directors, outdoor businesses, and user groups – and received over 200 responses. From the complete list, ORR selected twelve projects that highlight the diverse benefits of LWCF funding, from rural economic development and small business creation to outdoor access for underserved communities.
“These outdoor recreation-related projects are all eligible for the mandatory annual $900M in LWCF funding from the Great American Outdoors Act and if completed will have tangible recreational and economic impacts in local communities,” said Jessica Turner, president of ORR. “This list of projects represents a diverse set of outdoor recreation activities and potential users and will be good for the economies and health of a broad swath of America. Whether it is through LWCF, the Legacy Restoration Fund, or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are eager to support Congress and the Administration in supporting high-quality recreation infrastructure opportunities.”
This year’s list of top projects, if funded, will create more outdoor access in communities without recreation assets and help build recreation economies as the pandemic eases. The list includes:
- Skull Hollow Trailhead – Prineville, Oregon
- Klauer Trail – New Mexico
- Pike County ATV Trail System – Pike County, Kentucky
- Bill Dance Signature Lakes – Tennessee
- Patuxent River State Park Trail System – Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Gallinas River Park Revitalization – Las Vegas, New Mexico
- Lost Trail Conservation Area – Flathead and Lincoln Counties, Montana
- PWS Marine Trail – Prince William Sound, Alaska
- Cinnabar Mountain Trail – Aleknagik, Alaska
- Northeast Iowa Backbone Trail – Guttenberg, Iowa
- Yonkers Greenway – Yonkers, New York
- Southern Tier Trail – Buffalo, New York
See descriptions of each project by clicking here.
Additionally, Trust for Public Lands has continued to develop their ‘The Future Projects Map,’ an interactive resource which showcases projects in needs of funding from LWCF. ORR worked with TPL to include the key projects collected from the recreation community the last two years which total over 330 LWCF eligible projects. This helps to show just how broad an impact outdoor recreation has across the nation and how vital LWCF is to creating access to the outdoors. The map includes “projects submitted by federal agencies to Congress as part of the annual budget and appropriations process as well as projects identified by state, local, and non-profit partners.”
ORR will continue to source and share key projects from across the country, highlighting the great need for recreation access through LWCF dollars and how funding these projects will engage more people in outdoor recreation and grow the outdoor recreation industry for years to come. ORR and our partners will be working with Congress, the administration, and state entities to ensure these projects break ground in a timely, cost-effective manner.
ORR’s priorities for use of LWCF dollars include the following:
- Increasing recreation access for everyone, across all outdoor activities (sportsmen, powersports enthusiasts, hikers, boaters, climbers, bikers, RVers and many more);
- Promoting rural economic development by adding value and jobs to nearby communities; and
- Enhancing opportunities for underrepresented groups (e.g. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, Low-income, Disabled, Immigrants, etc.)
Outdoor recreation industry showcases power of Americans getting outside in new video touting recreation’s economic and health benefits
Applauds Senate committee approval of first-ever recreation package that will improve outdoor access, experiences
On the same day the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed the first-ever recreation package, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and its members released an energizing video highlighting myriad outdoor recreation activities, the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, and the over 4.3 million jobs it supports while urging Americans to get outside and recreate. The video also emphasizes how the outdoor recreation industry boosts our local and national economies, and how recreating outdoors has been a fun, healthful respite for many over the past two years and will continue to be in the future. ORR and its members will be promoting the video on social media over the next several weeks.
“I don’t think our nation has seen the positive impacts outdoor recreation has had on Americans’ physical, mental and economic health in such a tangible way as we have over the past several years,” said Jessica Turner, president of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Now is the time to remind the nation and our elected officials how the outdoors and the recreation economy helped us get through the pandemic and how we can bring more to people, communities and economies with bills like the recreation package. We hope Americans continue to get outside to improve their lives and, like the video states, nowadays we could all use a little less zoom and a little more vroom!”
Additionally, America’s Outdoor Recreation Act of 2022, passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee today, includes the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, the Outdoor Recreation Act, Recreation Not Red-Tape, among other bipartisan and pragmatic outdoor recreation legislation. ORR sent a letter to the committee last year urging them to pass this much-needed legislation as soon as possible to, “help manage already existing conserved lands and waters in order to support businesses recovering from COVID-19, and now impacted by wildfires and drought, ensure better access to the outdoors for all Americans, mitigate the impacts of climate change and ever-increasing visitation in some areas on the outdoor experience and create jobs by supporting rural economies and communities.”
Turner added, “We applaud Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso for crafting the first-ever Outdoor Recreation Package and helping to pass it out of committee. We now urge the full Congress to pass it this year to continue the tremendous momentum and impact of the outdoor recreation economy.”
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) held the first-ever Electric Vehicle & Next Generation Technologies for Outdoor Recreation Summit today to convene discussion around the strategic deployment of electric vehicles and other green technologies into the outdoor recreation market and economy. The event kicked off with remarks from Austin Brown, Senior Director of Transportation Emissions at the White House and included remarks from Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis, and Kampgrounds of America, Inc. president and CEO Toby O’Rourke. The event explored momentum and opportunities for electrifying recreation vehicles of all types, recreation’s ‘state of readiness,’ measures of consumer demand, the challenges of electric charging infrastructure near recreation assets, and other green economy solutions.
“The cross-sector businesses and partners gathered today have an opportunity to lead the greening of outdoor recreation experiences, make significant impacts in reducing carbon emissions while helping to create jobs, and build local economies as we introduce next generation technologies to recreation consumers,” said Jessica Turner, President of ORR. “This event was extremely important because of the industry-wide thought-leadership on how we begin the transition to cleaner technologies and ensured we can be clear-eyed about the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
The event included panel discussions with speakers from outdoor recreation businesses, federal and state agencies, and partner organizations that will be key to the outdoor recreation industry’s successful integration of next generation technologies. Speakers from Brunswick Corporation, QuietKat, THOR Industries/Airstream, Winnebago Industries, Zero Motorcycles, and more explored the many challenges and opportunities in this space, and how charging infrastructure for people recreating can be created and installed efficiently, sustainably and equitably.
“With so many of our favorite places facing severe climate threats, the outdoor recreation community has a compelling reason to lead the way in implementing climate solutions and accelerating our transition toward a clean energy-powered and electrified economy. A major part of that equation is going to be the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure and other clean and carbon pollution-free technologies. This summit is a real testament to the recreation industry’s eagerness to take concrete actions that will allow us to pass on the outdoor places we all love to our children and future generations.” -U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
“America’s public lands provide unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities for more than 70 million visitors each year, and that activity translates into vital jobs and economic development throughout the country. Through President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative and with the transformational resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Department of the Interior is working to improve access across our public lands, repurpose abandoned mines, and install electric vehicle infrastructure on our public lands.” – Laura Daniel-Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management
“Michigan is excited to partner with the nation’s outdoor recreation leaders who are the catalysts that are driving the industry’s transition to an electric future,” said Brad Garmon, Director of the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “From electric snowmobiles to the Lake Michigan EV Circuit and solar-powered boat startups, we are working with the companies and entrepreneurs bringing new outdoor product innovations to market; supporting community leaders deploying critical EV chargers to recreation destinations and engaging those that will build and maintain the clean technology that will expand access to the great outdoors.”
ORR will hold a Hill briefing and release a white paper, based in large part from the discussions and information shared at this event, on next generation technology and the future of an increasingly resilient outdoor reaction economy in the coming weeks.
Announcement of climate-smart investments timely for Wednesday’s outdoor sector summit on next generation, electric recreation vehicles
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) celebrates Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure across 40 states and several U.S. territories. The investments will support better access to safe water and/or clean energy for disadvantaged communities.
“High-quality trails, campgrounds, marinas, and other recreation infrastructure projects are crucial to healthy outdoor recreation economies, as are renewable energy and energy efficiency, rural services and utilities, water quality, high-speed broadband access, and much more. These critical investments ensure that our nation’s recreation destinations can thrive while mitigating their impacts on a changing climate and ensuring sustainable access for generations to come,” said Jessica Turner, president of ORR. “The outdoor recreation industry applauds these investments in communities across the nation that will improve the quality of life and opportunities for all who live in them.”
Turner continued, “Now we have an opportunity is to connect these investments to new charging infrastructure in recreation destinations. This week the outdoor recreation industry will hold one of the first industry-wide summits with cross-sector companies to discuss the opportunities and challenges of integrating electric and other alternative fueled vehicles into outdoor recreation. We are excited to start this dialogue and work with businesses, communities, and elected leaders on how best to transition to cleaner technologies in outdoor recreation.”
*More information on ORR’s summit:
Electric Vehicles and Next Generation Technologies for Outdoor Recreation Summit
Join ORR as we convene our membership, cross-sector businesses, federal agencies, and members of Congress for a thought-leadership summit on next generation technologies and the recreation economy.
Speakers include leaders from:
Hispanic Access Foundation
Kampgrounds of America, Inc.
Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry
National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
National Marine Manufacturers Association
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
The Corps Network
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Forest Service – Recreation.gov
White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy
Winnebago Industries and more
April 27, 1:00-4:00pm ET Reception to follow Eaton House, Washington, D.C.
**Media interested in attending please contact Cody Wertz, email@example.com
Will help build the national and local outdoor recreation economies and get more Americans outdoors
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable statement on the announcement by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture Fy23 budget proposal to invest $2.8 billion – $1.9 billion for the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund (LRF) and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually – to address critical deferred maintenance projects and improve transportation and recreation infrastructure in national parks, national wildlife refuges and recreation areas, and at Bureau of Indian Education schools.
“We have the best public lands, waters and outdoor businesses in the world right here in the United States, but if Americans can’t access them with sound roads or if the campgrounds, marinas and trails are in disrepair or unsafe, then we are missing out on economic opportunity and undermining our American outdoor heritage,” said ORR president, Jessica Turner. “The announcement of a $2.8 billion investment in public lands infrastructure and access is huge for the nation’s and local communities’ economies and a testimony to the years of work ORR, Congress and other outdoor recreation leaders put into passing the Great American Outdoors Act.”
Turner continued, “While there is still much work to be done to bolster our public lands and waters, create more access to the outdoors for more Americans and build more sustainable communities, we all should be proud of this budget proposal and the outdoor opportunities and memories it will contribute to in the future.”
Position Underscores Importance and Benefits of the Outdoor Recreation Economy
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable applauded the hire of Pennsylvania’s new Director of Outdoor Recreation, Nathan Reigner, today at an event highlighting the new position and outdoor recreation’s importance to the state. Outdoor recreation generates $11.8 billion for the Keystone State’s economy, is 1.5 percent of its GDP and creates 146,000 jobs. The new Director of Outdoor Recreation will work to leverage Pennsylvania’s myriad outdoor recreation assets with all the various outdoor recreation stakeholder groups from anglers and hunters to hikers and mountain bikers, local communities and more to continue to build and improve the state’s outdoor recreation economy.
ORR’s President, Jessica Turner lauded the position and Mr. Reigner saying, “The appointment of Nathan Reigner is a huge step forward for outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania. His leadership will be invaluable to growing the outdoor recreation economy in the state, as well as supporting rural economies and increasing access for all residents and visitors.”
“Outdoor recreation is a central part of our lives, our communities, and our economy here in Pennsylvania,” said Director Reigner. “It contributes to our physical and mental health, our state’s gross domestic product, the vibrance of our towns and cities, and conservation of our lands, waters, and wildlife. As Pennsylvania’s first Director of Outdoor Recreation, I will work collaboratively with our state’s entire outdoor recreation sector, including businesses, non-profits, and government to expand and ensure the benefits of outdoor recreation for all Pennsylvanians as individuals, communities, and a commonwealth as a whole.”
ORR is helping states across the country build their outdoor recreation economies by promoting the vital role offices of outdoor recreation can play in enhancing state and local economies. Pennsylvania is now the 19th state to either create an Office of Outdoor Recreation, Director of Outdoor Recreation or initiate a task force to recommend an office.
ORR Calls Out Two Key Provisions in the FY 2022 Omnibus that Bolster the Outdoor Recreation Industry
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) celebrated two provisions key to bolstering the outdoor recreation industry in the recently passed FY 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Along with applauding the bipartisan funding of the government, ORR applauds the continued funding of $1.5 million for the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA). Additionally, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) authored a requirement for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct the Outdoor Industry Veterans Careers GAO Study to identify efforts that connect U.S. veterans to careers and jobs in the outdoor industry.
“ORSA funding is essential to the outdoor recreation industry because it measures the outdoor recreation economy, this year at $689 billion, 4.3 million jobs and 1.8 percent of GDP, and helps elected officials, businesses, and the public understand the economic impact of this growing industry,” said Jessica Turner, president of ORR. “As this sector of the economy continues to expand, the Outdoor Industry Veterans Careers GAO Study will also be a win-win – both by identifying opportunities for veterans to pursue careers in outdoor recreation and by providing the industry with strong candidates for the growing workforce. The outdoor recreation industry is excited these two provisions were funded and looks forward to them contributing to a better understanding of the benefits of recreation and quality of life for all Americans.”