EDITOR’S NOTE: As states begin to loosen restrictions and the public descends on National Parks, campgrounds and other areas of the outdoors, Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), issued the following plea on behalf of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition:

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become so important for many, and we anticipate this trend will continue. People are drawn to the outdoors for fresh air, stress relief and the freedom it provides. This is positive news for outdoor businesses and for the health and well-being of Americans. As our public lands and waters reopen, our special places could get overwhelmed and people could be at risk.

To help ensure people thrive outside and stay safe, OIA is working with a national coalition of nonprofits, outdoor businesses and land managers on the #RecreateResponsbily campaign. The program shares guidelines and best practices to protect each other and our natural landscapes. We are a diverse community brought together by our love of the outdoors and a desire to help everyone experience the benefits of nature safely during this public health crisis.

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, OIA and our partners are launching the #RecreateResponsibly initiative, with six guidelines for getting outside safely. Please join us in sharing the #RecreateResponsibly toolkit (English and Spanish) and message across your social media channels.

Let’s protect our special places and keep people going outside. Learn more at recreateresponsibly.org.

The Recreate Responsibly Coalition Members

  • American Hiking Society
  • Children & Nature Network
  • City Parks Alliance
  • Hispanic Access Foundation
  • LBC Action
  • Leave No Trace
  • National Forest Foundation
  • National Park Foundation
  • Outdoor Afro
  • Outdoor Alliance
  • Outdoor Industry Association
  • Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
  • PeopleForBikes
  • REI
  • The Conservation Alliance
  • The North Face
  • The Trust for Public Lands
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • Washington Trails Association