Great Outdoors Month

A visual that shows all of the Great Outdoors Day proclamations across the U.S.

Great Outdoors Month, which began in 1998 under President Bill Clinton as Great Outdoors Week, has grown over the years into a month-long celebration of America’s public lands and waters at the national, state, and local levels with thousands of events across the country, according to a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).

Five consecutive presidents, including President Biden, have issued Great Outdoors Month proclamations, and each year the Senate designates June as a month to celebrate the outdoors and recognize outdoor recreation’s contributions to the mental, physical, and economic health of the nation.

Every June, Americans across the country get outdoors during Great Outdoors Month, a month-long celebration of responsible, healthy outdoor recreation on local, state, and federal lands and waters. Great Outdoors Month is coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and includes events held throughout the month including:

  • National Park Trusts’ Kids to Parks Day
  • RV Industry’s National Go RVing Day
  • American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day
  • National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation
  • National Get Outdoors Day, coordinated by ORR and the U.S. Forest Service
  • National Marina Days, coordinated by the Association of Marina Industries
  • National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout

Some events — like National Marina Days and The Great American Campout — last all summer. And, of course, you can always hike, bike, camp, ride, fish, boat, and more in our great outdoors.

Many Americans are continuing to prioritize spending time outdoors, just as they have over the past two years. With this in mind, it’s as good a time as ever for us to shine a spotlight on the industry that helps us connect with nature, our families, communities, health and wellness, and served as a respite from quarantines and stay at home orders. The outdoor recreation industry didn’t just grow over COVID-19, it improved quality of life, created jobs, and upheld economies across the country.

While we are celebrating these accomplishments for our nation’s public lands and waters, rural communities, and the outdoor recreation industry, we must also acknowledge that the pandemic has not been an economic boom for every community, business, or employee, and not every American has the same access to the outdoors. We take this to heart and it is why we as an industry are focused on working with rural communities to build or improve their outdoor recreation economies through resources like our rural economic development toolkit.

This year, Great Outdoors Month will also focus on the principles of Together Outdoors, working to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation through education and action. By orienting around these principles, we can ensure People of Color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the disability community, and marginalized people of various backgrounds and faiths feel welcome in the outdoors and have their stories told.

It is also why we have partnered with outdoor recreation industry businesses to create the Together Outdoors coalition to raise awareness of equity and inclusion issues in outdoor experiences and awareness to help eliminate existing barriers.

These past years have reminded us all how important getting outside is to our mental, physical, and economic health. The realization policy makers are having through Great Outdoors Month resolutions, proclamations, and GAOA investments is truly cause for celebration. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, the administration, and outdoor recreationists new and old to fully realize the potential of outdoor recreation to help our nation recover, rebuild, and reconnect in the coming years.

Learn more about Great Outdoors Month here.