National Great Outdoors Month reminds us to practice responsible recreation this year as we explore our nation’s waterways or plan a family camping trip to a nearby park. June is the perfect month to appreciate the benefits that come along with time spent outdoors while taking extra care to be responsible about how you go about it.
Use these helpful tips as you plan your responsible Great Outdoors Month camping or fishing adventures:
- Plan your Great Outdoors Month outdoor experiences closer to home this year. Avoid long drives to remote locations, and be sure to consider how crowded certain campgrounds or boat ramps may potentially be. Use the places to fish and boat map to find new spots close to home that you may not have visited yet.
- With any upcoming camping or fishing holidays you plan to take, avoid making too many stops while en route by using a checklist to make sure you have enough food and necessary gear. Be sure to bring along some sanitizing wipes, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer for your family.
- Keep in mind that many of our nation’s parks will be following a phased approach to reopening park areas during National Great Outdoors Month this year due to COVID-19. This applies to outdoor spaces such as trails, campsites, boat ramps, and picnic areas. Modifications to park operations will be evaluated and adjusted on a park-by-park basis so always check with the specific park for details about their operations, including campgrounds.
- Recycle, properly dispose of litter, and pack out what you pack in. Remember that conscientious no-trace campers and anglers always keep and leave clean camping and fishing spots.
- The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) offers additional resources and tools for responsible recreation during Great Outdoors Month. This coalition of outdoors organizations outlines how specific events have been adapted to take into account the effects of COVID-19 as we work together toward economic, social and mental recovery.
If you’re wondering about National Great Outdoors Month history, the Senate officially designated June 2019 as Great Outdoors Month. Great Outdoors Week actually began under President Clinton in 1998 and has grown under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations into a month-long celebration of the outdoors. Make plans to participate responsibly while experiencing the positive restorative benefits at a time when wellbeing is front and center.