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June 2022: Great Outdoors Month

WHEREAS, going outdoors is a safe and healthy way to engage with family and friends while enjoying the natural resources and beauty Pure Michigan has to offer; and,

WHEREAS, kids spend an average of ten hours a day in front of a screen, and outdoor activity is touted by leading health organizations as a remedy for the adverse effects caused by increasing inactivity; and,

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of providing safe, close-to-home opportunities for people of all races, incomes, and beliefs to access public parks, trails, sidewalks and biking infrastructure, and open spaces for daily physical exercise, mental well-being, socializing with friends and family, relaxing outdoors, and enjoying Michigan’s natural wonders and beauty; and,  

WHEREAS, diverse Great Outdoors Month events, including the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, National Get Outdoors Day, the Great Outdoors Day of Service, the Great American Campout, Kids to Parks Day, Bike Travel Weekend, and more, help introduce people of all ages to healthy, fun, outdoor events; and,

WHEREAS, other events during Great Outdoors Month, such as National Fishing and Boating Week, Free Fishing Weekend, Free ORV Weekend, Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, National Marina Day, and more, provide everyone, including children, with exciting opportunities for recreation and boating on the great waters of our state; and,

WHEREAS, the economic impact of outdoor recreation is both large and growing statewide, generating 124,000 direct jobs, with a $10.1 billion total outdoor recreation value, $4.7 billion in wages and salaries, and 1.9% of GDP in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s local, state, and national parks, forests, trails, and forest roads attract millions of visitors each year and reflect every facet of our state’s rich natural and cultural history; and,

WHEREAS, enjoyment of our great outdoors allows us to celebrate the commitment of our state to conserve and protect our air, water, wildlife and lands and contribute to conservation efforts through various licenses, taxes, and fees; and,

WHEREAS, Great Outdoors Month allows residents to celebrate the partnership of federal, state, and local agencies, the recreation and tourism industries, and recreationists, who make outdoor recreation opportunities plentiful and add new and needed features, such as improved trails through the Recreational Trails Program, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim June 2022 Great Outdoors Month in Michigan and encourage all residents and visitors to explore, enjoy, protect, and conserve Michigan’s great outdoors.