Stuff in the ‘Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’ Category
Washington, D.C. (August 8, 2022) – The Together Outdoors (TO) Coalition, an initiative committed to advancing equity and inclusion in all aspects of the outdoor recreation experience, is excited to announce a new grant program designed to support organizations on the front lines of the effort to build a more accessible, welcoming outdoor ecosystem. This program, in addition to TO’s overall efforts is made possible thanks to foundational and multi-year support from THOR Industries, with support from Winnebago Industries for this grant opportunity.
“Funding from the initial pilot round of our grant program will go directly to frontline, grassroots leaders and organizations working to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming,” said Gerry Seavo James, TO Coalition Lead. “This grant program epitomizes exactly what Together Outdoors was founded on doing – to help with incubating an environment where all people have access to welcoming outdoor recreation experiences, and we look forward to expanding this effort in the future.”
Grant Focus Areas:
Research + Resources – Monetary support for the development of effective research and resource tools concerning inclusion in the outdoors (i.e., toolkits, educational resources, audio and video resources, linguistic translations, etc.).
Activating Change Outdoors – Outdoor recreation-related programming, events and leadership development initiatives that benefit communities of color and intersecting minority groups.
“At THOR, our purpose is to inspire and empower everyone to Go Everywhere. Stay Anywhere. Our family of companies offer a comprehensive range of RVs and travel tools to help connect people with nature and with one another,” shared Bob Martin, THOR president and CEO. “In support of Together Outdoors’ mission to alleviate barriers to inclusion in the outdoors, THOR is honored to empower front-line organizations driven to cultivate the necessary change that will allow everyone to Go Everywhere and Stay Anywhere.”
This is TO’s inaugural grant program. The initial pilot round will offer $25,000 in funding focused on organizations with revenue under $100,000 that are led by, or serve a majority constituency of, communities of color and/or intersecting minority groups. Applications will be reviewed by Together Outdoors’ Advisory and Governance Council members and are due by September 5th, 2022 at 11:59 P.M EST. Awards will be disbursed by September 30th, 2022.
In the first year of the program, projects must take place in one of the following 27 states or territories to be eligible for the grant: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia, & Virginia. Future rounds of this grant program will be open to applicants nationwide.
“At Winnebago Industries we help our customers explore the outdoor lifestyle, enabling extraordinary mobile experiences as they travel, live, work and play. We are excited to extend our support to grassroots organizations committed to removing barriers and creating inclusive outdoor spaces,” said Jil Littlejohn Bostick, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Winnebago Industries.
Written or video submissions will be accepted. Information about the timeline, eligibility and where to submit applications can be found here. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New economic report showcases outdoor recreation economy’s strength & resiliency during difficult year
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released economic data for 2020 on outdoor recreation’s powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy today. These new numbers show outdoor recreation generates $689 billion in economic output and creates 4.3 million jobs. The report, a snapshot in time of a challenging and uncertain year, includes national and state-level data.
This is the fourth consecutive year that BEA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has released government data on this critical industry sector. Today’s release shows how the outdoor industry, despite the impact of widespread public lands and business closures, suspended trips and travel, gathering restrictions, supply chain issues and more, continued to support communities across the country during the pandemic. Prior to 2020, the outdoor recreation economy was growing faster than the economy in every indicator and served as a resilient economic growth engine and job creator.
Key Highlights from 2020 data on the outdoor recreation economy:
- Outdoor recreation generated $689 billion in gross output during a year of shutdowns and closures, and 4.3 million jobs in communities across the country.
- Industry segments like boating and fishing, biking, camping and RVing, hunting and shooting sports, and powersports experienced record sales and unprecedented growth.
- 2020 was one of the toughest years in recent history. With so much isolation and loss, the outdoors was something we could all turn to in order to connect with our families and friends and maintain physical and mental health.
- The “Transportation and Warehousing” category decreased 62.37% from 2019 to 2020.
- Declines in travel and tourism had an outsized impact on outdoor recreation’s overall economic activity and related outdoor segments may continue to struggle.
- Outdoor participation soared, especially close-to-home recreation, highlighting the importance of better access to the outdoors for all communities.
- Americans’ prioritization of outdoor recreation continues into 2021 with strong numbers in participation and sales data.
“Despite the pandemic, public lands and water closures, canceled trips and travel, gathering restrictions, supply chain issues and more, the outdoor recreation economy is a huge contributor to national and local economies,” said Jessica Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “This data, along with what we have seen throughout the past year and a half, proves how vital continued investments in our public lands and waters and recreation infrastructure are to the national and local economies and how communities big and small, rural and urban, benefit from outdoor recreation.”
“COVID-19 inspired huge participation growth in 2020, as outdoor spaces became places of refuge to safely socialize, improve physical and mental health, connect with family and recover from screen fatigue,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association. “In 2020, 53 percent of Americans ages 6 and over participated in outdoor recreation at least once, the highest participation rate on record. Remarkably, 7.1 million more Americans participated in outdoor recreation in 2020 than in the year prior. Early indications are this trend continued into 2021 and sales data comparing August 2020 to August 2021 show that the sales of tents, backpacks, coolers and camping equipment, trail running shoes, and other outdoor gear are up more than 20 percent year over year.”
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for recreational boating has surged, with new, younger, and more diverse consumers driving record sales for our industry,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “Looking ahead, we expect consumer interest and sales to remain strong through 2021 and beyond as Americans continue to discover the benefits and joys of being on the water.”
“As the BEA numbers indicate, 2020 was an extraordinary year for recreational fishing,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association and ORR’s Vice Chairman. “When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, people turned to the outdoors like never before. We saw a big uptick in fishing participation from families with children as well a new generation of young anglers. That’s why it is so important that we continue to increase and improve access to our public lands.”
“2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and the outdoor recreation industry was no exception. Even with the incredible number of people turning to RVs and outdoor recreation in 2020, it was impossible to overcome the economic losses resulting from the entire US economy coming to a screeching halt in the spring of 2020, including closed campgrounds and suspended operations at RV dealerships and RV manufacturing plants,” said RV Industry Association Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Landers. “The good news is that nearly 20% more RVs will be built in 2021 than in any prior year and the streak is expected to continue into 2022. This bodes well for the future of not only the RV industry but the wider outdoor recreation economy as a whole.”
“Sales of motorcycles, ATVs, and side-by-sides were up considerably in 2020, and that trend is continuing in 2021,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “More families and individuals are recreating outdoors close to home, which highlights the need to support expanded access to public lands and investments into recreation infrastructure.”
America’s outdoor recreation community, represented by ORR, continues to support the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) – the project compiling and releasing this data. Just like is the case for many other industries, the goal is to provide annual data on the economic importance of national and regional outdoor recreation economies that can be tracked for years to come. To learn more about ORR and outdoor recreation’s contributions to the economy prior to 2020, click here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 6th – Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) provided the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the infrastructure package, with $100 million in outdoor recreation infrastructure support included, among other programs vital to the outdoor recreation economy, sending it to President Biden’s desk.
“We appreciate the hard work by President Biden, members of his administration, the House and Senate to come to an agreement on a broad and impactful bipartisan infrastructure package that invests in our local communities, our public lands and waters, and our people,” said Jessica Wahl Turner, president of ORR. “This infrastructure package provides an opportunity to not only rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and airports, but also to improve the infrastructure behind our beloved public lands and waters.”
Turner continued, “Meaningful investments in transportation, public lands, rural development, and natural infrastructure connect more people to the outdoors and strengthen the outdoor recreation economy. This creates new jobs, helps the U.S. remain globally competitive, and ensures we recover from the impacts the pandemic had on businesses, local communities, our health, and our quality of life. We encourage Congress to advance this historic package to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.”
The outdoor recreation industry is especially appreciative that the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes:
$100 million for restoring, preparing, or adapting recreation sites on Federal lands: This is a key provision the outdoor recreation business community worked on and is imperative to ensure the continued growth and success of the industry as well as safe and quality outdoor experiences for all Americans.
Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund: This important funding supports fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access and infrastructure, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, as well as important fish stocking programs.
Investments in Natural Infrastructure: As we are increasingly dealing with the impacts of extreme weather across the country due to climate change, such as droughts, hurricanes and wildfires, these vital investments in natural infrastructure solutions, including green infrastructure, coastal restoration, and regenerative agriculture will help strengthen conservation, enhance outdoor recreation experiences, and reduce carbon emissions. The National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program will greatly benefit recreational fishing and its enormous impact on local economies and communities.
Forest Service’s Legacy Road and Trail Program: The authorization of $250 million for this important program will help to increase recreation opportunities by investing in maintenance of Forest Service roads and trails near threatened water bodies.