President’s Announcement on “Every Kid in a Park” and New National Monument Designations Support Outdoor Recreation Economy
Boulder, CO -(Ammoland.com)- Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) applauds President Barack Obama ‘s announcement today promoting the new “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, which recognizes the importance of ensuring that every fourth grader in America spends time outdoors.
This announcement comes in advance of the National Park Service Centennial, which will be celebrated in 2016, inspiring people from around the world to visit what has been called America’s “best idea,” our national parks.
OIA, the Outdoor Foundation and our member companies have been working hard to share our love of the outdoors with the next generation. America’s youth are now spending less time outside than ever before, averaging seven hours in front of a screen, but only minutes of outdoor play per day.
We are thrilled by the president’s call to action that will provide meaningful outdoor experiences – from the backyard to the backcountry – for our next generation. With resources behind “Every Kid in a Park,” including free admission on federal lands for all fourth graders and their families for the next year, as well as transportation funding to national parks for fourth graders in Title 1 schools, the outdoor industry is eager to support this endeavor.
“We are all born with the innate desire to explore the outdoors. For the millions of professionals in the outdoor industry, it’s what has shaped our careers. We know that outdoor recreation creates healthy lifestyles, thriving communities and a strong economy, but for those of us in the outdoor industry, it is also a business imperative,” said Steve Barker, Interim Executive Director of OIA. “We accept the president’s challenge to help future generations flourish by getting every fourth grader outside in celebration of the Centennial. I personally helped establish a conservancy in California that helps 500 fourth-graders annually to discover science through outdoor activity. From the Escondido Creek Conservancy in San Diego to Fortune 500 companies in the outdoor industry, we applaud the president for making our children’s interaction with the outdoors a national priority.”
In addition to this announcement, the president also dedicated our country’s newest national monuments – Browns Canyon in Colorado, one of the best whitewater rafting and angler destinations in the country; a plot of land in Oahu, Hawaii, where Japanese- Americans were held in the Honouliuli Internment Camp; and the Pullman Historic District in Chicago, birthplace of the first African-American labor union.
Known for its excellent recreation opportunities including hiking, fishing, kayaking, hunting, and rafting, the Browns Canyon monument designation will include protections for existing access and water rights to the Arkansas River. The Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA) estimates a $60 million annual contribution to the local economy via commercial rafting on the Arkansas River. Most recently, former Senator Mark Udall and Senator Michael Bennet worked hard to pass legislation that would have preserved Browns Canyon for its multiple benefits including boosting the local recreation economy. Although the legislation failed to move in the Senate, both were instrumental in helping with today’s designation.
OIA and the outdoor industry look forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration to help implement the president’s vision for outdoor recreation and for the opportunity to highlight the importance of the outdoors throughout the nation. We hope all Americans will join us in exploring these newly protected parks and monuments, as well as other parks, forests, rivers and urban green spaces, in the coming year.
Better yet – bring a young person so they too can grow up enjoying what we know as America’s Great Outdoors.
Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services.
For more information, visit www.OutdoorIndustry.org or call 303.444.3353.