WASHINGTON, JUNE 5, 2012 AT 8:00 AM EDT - The U.S. Forest Service is waiving recreation fees and hosting outdoor events across the country to celebrate the 5th annual National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 9.
GO Day is designed to attract new, diverse communities to outdoor activities and motivate kids to explore their national forests and other public lands. Dozens of events on national forests and grasslands will feature opportunities including camping, rock wall climbing, kayaking, biking and archery.
"National Get Outdoors Day provides an opportunity for kids of all ages to explore and enjoy their national forests and grasslands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “This is an open invitation for some healthy fun. Once you’ve experienced the forest, we think you’ll keep coming back.”
Free local recreational and educational activities will be offered nationwide. Many events are designed to better engage urban and multicultural youth and attract first-time visitors to public lands.
In addition to the local events, the Forest Service is hosting three “signature sites” touted for their unique landscapes and planned activities:
Pisgah National Forest, Asheville, N.C. - Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Pisgah National Forest, this site enjoys breathtaking views of tens of thousands of forested acres. Hands-on activities led by local outdoor businesses and organizations will include fly fishing, canoeing, archery, orienteering and wildlife gardening.
City Park, Denver, Colo. – This event will feature fun-filled outdoor activities, learning opportunities and family entertainment. Activities include rock wall climbing, kayaking, live music, Junior Ranger activities, dancing, outdoor arts, fishing and bicycling.
Salt Lake City, Utah – The Venture Outdoors/GO Day celebration has introduced thousands of people to rock climbing, fly fishing and water safety. The festival, held in Millcreek Township, features recreation clinics, guest speakers, giveaways, creative children's activities and great food all day long.
Visit the GO Day website to find a full listing of events – and check back regularly as new events are being added to the list.
June is Great Outdoors Month and President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative seeks to connect people to the outdoors and creates partnerships between the federal government and American communities on conservation issues. The Let’s Move! Outside campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, strives to offset childhood obesity through outdoor activities and healthier lifestyles.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on National Forest System lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.