June is Great Outdoors Month, as designated by President Barack Obama and more than half of America’s governors.
President Obama issued a proclamation stating, “The United States is blessed with unparalleled natural beauty. From remote forests to urban parks, these spaces have inspired visitors for generations .... Exploring the great outdoors can also help improve one's health. These spaces provide countless venues for walking, hiking, running, swimming, and boating, among other activities. Americans can combine the enjoyment of being outside with the exercise we all need to stay healthy.”
The proclamation was suggested by a coalition of dozens of recreation and conservation organizations, many of which coordinate special events held during June, including National Trails Day, National Fishing and Boating Week, National Get Outdoors Day and the Great American Backyard Campout.
The proclamation highlights important initiatives of the Obama Administration, noting that it is “working to connect America's youth with our treasured landscapes, which should be viewed as classrooms for environmental education and gateways to careers in natural resources. These efforts will include outreach to those who typically lack representation in, and exposure to, these fields."
The Department of the Interior is launching a summer mentoring initiative as part of the Great Outdoors effort. The mentoring program invites families and friends to teach children about the joys and wonders of the outdoors.
"My Administration is also increasing the number of youth involved in national service on public lands," Obama said in the proclamation. “I encourage all Americans to spend more time outside and to participate in the nationwide events marking this occasion.”