As chilly winter weather gives way to the green of springtime, thousands of people are expected to experience the benefits of the great American outdoors by participating in the 7th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), Saturday, June 14, 2014. In the spirit of GO Day, the Forest Service is encouraging outdoor activity by participating in a “fee-free day.”
“Working with our partners, we are able to provide a variety of opportunities for kids and adults to learn enjoy and explore on our national forests and grasslands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “From Alaska to the Rockies to the Great Plains to the East Coast, we are hosting events and providing opportunities that stimulate the mind as well as the body.”
GO Day is an event that helps to inspire national and local organizations to come together to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of outdoor recreation. The hope is that new and diverse communities will take 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.
Nationwide, more than 100 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 and attract first-time visitors to public lands.
“National forests provide tremendous settings for spending a day or two outdoors,” Tidwell said. “These public lands provide more than 158,000 miles of recreational trails, wild and scenic rivers, lakes and streams, thousands of campgrounds and day-use sites, and educational opportunities at Forest Service visitor centers. These lands also add more than $13 billion in benefits to local economies.”
In the spirit of GO Day, the Forest Service is encouraging outdoor activity by generally waiving fees for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Concessionaire-operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate. Contact your local national forest or grassland to learn if your destination requires a fee and if that fee is waived.
See a list of all fee-free days and which public lands agencies participate.
GO Day supports the First Lady’s Let’s Move Outside campaign to eliminate childhood obesity. Oh, by the way, time outdoors with Dad is a great Father’s Day gift.