Washington, D.C. (September 6, 2018) – Great Outdoors Month® 2018 was one of the most successful partner celebrations ever! Americans across the country – outdoor rookies and experts alike – decided to #EscapeTheIndoors this June and enjoy outdoor recreation on America’s public lands and waters. Government leaders at every level joined public and private partners in saluting the many educational, economic and social benefits of fun outdoors.
At least 10,000 events in all 50 states welcomed more than 1.5 million people to our nation’s treasured outdoor places.
Once again, the President and all 50 governors issued impressive proclamations designating June as Great Outdoors Month®! The proclamations highlighted Great Outdoors Month®’s signature events including:
- Adventure Cycling Association’s Bike Travel Weekend
- National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
- National Get Outdoors Day, coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and the U.S. Forest Service
- National Marina Days, coordinated by the Association of Marina Industries
- The National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks™ Day
- The Corps Network’s Great Outdoors Day of Service
- National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout
To connect people with these great events, the Great Outdoors Month® Council expanded its completely redesigned www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org. The new website, which puts the outdoor activities that consumers are looking for – such as Agents of Discovery’s exciting new D.C. Explorer Campaign – front and center, saw significant increases in visits and engagement, thanks to #EscapeTheIndoors, a unified hashtag used by participating organizations and partners on social media to boost awareness of all the activities and events during Great Outdoors Month®.
“By creating a theme for Great Outdoors Month® that all participating organizations can unite under, we were able to deliver targeted and impactful messaging to inspire more Americans to get outside,” said Frank Peterson, RBFF President and CEO and Great Outdoors Month® Council Chair. “The result was a more streamlined experience for the consumer who we want to prepare for a successful day outdoors participating in fishing, boating, camping, biking and stewardship activities.”
Numerous proclamations also referenced the exciting new stats on outdoor recreation from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA), produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. ORSA data prove that outdoor recreation is a major force in the U.S. economy, accounting for 2% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
Public officials across the nation joined the celebration. The United States Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating June 2018 as Great Outdoors Month®. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the resolution, which received bipartisan support from eight cosponsors. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke encouraged everyone to enjoy their Great Outdoors during June in a great video at www.doi.gov/video/june-great-outdoors-month. Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott attracted statewide print and TV coverage with an event which included him signing his proclamation and launching a new partnership program designed to bring first-time campers to parks aided by the state’s medical community using “park prescriptions.”
“Great Outdoors Month® wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic partners, starting with America’s governors, who were honored as ‘Champions of the Great Outdoors’ with the first-ever Great Outdoors Challenge Coin,” said Derrick Crandall, Executive Director of the Great Outdoors Month® Council and President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Public and private organizations – like new Lead Sponsor Aspira™ – are essential to helping Great Outdoors Month® introduce all Americans to healthy, active fun outdoors.”
Media across the country spotlighted Great Outdoors Month®. A broad Google search for Great Outdoors Month® has hundreds of millions of results, while a Google News search brings back 25 million results and great stories ranging from AARP using Great Outdoors Month® to urge seniors to get outdoors to a celebration of Great Outdoors Month by a Pennsylvania Head Start program. More of the month’s best stories are available at www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org/gom-in-the-news. Great Outdoors Month® was also used by businesses large and small to help connect customers with healthier, more active, outdoor lives.
Plans for 2019 are already underway, including an increased focus on partnerships, greater promotion of www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org and #EscapeTheIndoors, more state-level engagement, proclamations and more. Look for Great Outdoors Month® 2019 to be the biggest and best Great Outdoors Month® yet!
Thanks to the entire Great Outdoors Month® Council for making 2018 such a success!