U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is encouraging kids and their families to reconnect with nature and have fun by participating in the 4th annual National Get Outdoors Day, Saturday, June 11. The event, known as “GO Day,” is an effort to attract new, diverse communities to outdoor activities and to motivate kids to explore their national forests and other public lands.
“GO day provides a great opportunity for kids big and small to get up close and personal with our country’s amazing forests and grasslands,” said Tidwell. “As the school year comes to a close, it’s time to get out and enjoy America’s wondrous lands and waterways. These early activities help bring families together, create lasting memories and instill a lifelong appreciation for our natural surroundings.”
The Forest Service has a bounty of children’s programs to help connect children to their natural environment, all of which support two key priorities of the Obama administration: President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative that seeks to connect people to the outdoors and creates partnerships between the federal government and American communities on conservation issues; and the Let’s Move! Outside campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, which strives to offset childhood obesity through outdoor activities and healthier lifestyles.
The agency also has collaborated with the Ad Council to develop a new national campaign of public service announcements to ‘Re-connect Kids with Nature.’
Nationwide, more than 80 Forest Service locations will be providing free recreational and educational activities. Many events are designed to better engage urban and multicultural youth in nature-based activities and attract first-time visitors to public lands.
National signature events will take place at locations listed below and were selected based on impressive partnership initiatives generating a large array of innovative and interactive activities and a significant number of expected participants:
- Kingman Island in Washington, D.C.
- Denver City Park in Denver, Colo.
- National Children’s Forest in San Bernardino, Calif.
- Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minn.
- Canyon Rim Park in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver, Wash.
For a listing of all events, visit: http://www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org/locations/. For more information on local activities, contact your nearest Forest Service location.
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 current 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.