U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell invites children and families to experience the many benefits of nature by participating in the 8th annual National Get Outdoors Day, Saturday, June 13, 2015. The event, also known as " GO Day," inspires national and local organizations to come together to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of outdoor recreation.
"Get Outdoors Day provides an exceptional opportunity to introduce kids and their families to the helpful benefits and unique experiences nature offers," said Chief Tidwell "It also encourages all citizens to connect to and appreciate the special settings, natural treasures and amenities of our national forests and grasslands."
Nationwide, many Forest Service locations will provide free recreational and educational activities. Some events are specifically designed to better engage urban and multicultural youth in nature-based activities, as well as attract first-time visitors to public lands. Dozens of unique events on national forests and grasslands will feature opportunities including camping, rock wall climbing, kayaking, biking and archery.
June is Great Outdoors Month, and Chief Tidwell invites all Americans to join the Forest Service and its many partner organizations in getting out and exploring all types of recreational activities throughout the month.
"GO Day helps American families discover opportunities for healthy, active outdoor fun close to home," said American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall. "It also builds upon other Great Outdoors Month events like the Capital Campouts hosted by Governors across the country, National Fishing and Boating Week and National Trails Day. Some 15,000 GO Day events and activities will involve more than a million people this year."
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.