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Great Outdoors Month: Enjoy Our Planet’s Beauty

June marks Great Outdoors Month, which encourages people to reconnect with nature. The movement has also evolved into an environmental campaign highlighting the benefits of outdoor activities for our health and the environment. 

Activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and cycling can promote respect and love for the environment. By caring for our surroundings, we can work towards conservation, ensuring that our natural wonders continue to flourish for future generations. Read on to learn more.

Featured in: June - Awareness Months, Days & Observances.

History and Background of Great Outdoors Month

great outdoors month
Photo by Porter Raab on Unsplash.

Great Outdoors Month started in June 1998 when President Bill Clinton initiated Great Outdoors Week primarily to increase job opportunities. This event also aims to inspire Americans to spend time in nature and appreciate its beauty; Clinton recognized the connection between the planet's health and its inhabitants' well-being. 

In 2004, President George W. Bush expanded the celebration to a month, reflecting the increasing importance of the outdoors in our lives. Eventually, it became a permanent date on the national calendar in 2019, with official recognition from the U.S. Senate. 

Since then, it has enjoyed backing from famous figures. For example, First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Outside" campaign and unanimous approval from all 50 U.S. governors in 2017. 

Other states also offer free fishing during the National Fishing and Boating Week, which takes place during Great Outdoors Month. The celebration also includes National Get Outdoors Day, held every second Saturday. It is coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and the US Forest Service.

The Cause and Its Challenges

rafting in river
Photo by Firdouss Ross on Unsplash.

Great Outdoors Month encourages people to go outdoors while raising awareness about the importance of preserving the natural environment. However, many individuals are not participating in outdoor recreation due to the rise of urbanization and technology. 

In 2022, a study by the Outdoor Foundation found that almost half of Americans did not engage in outdoor pastimes1. However, this is still good news because the number of participants has increased since the beginning of the pandemic.

Several factors may have influenced this lack of participation, including limited access to green spaces, particularly in urban and low-income areas. 

The World Health Organization also reports that lack of physical activity is the fourth leading risk factor for global deaths, causing approximately 3.2 million fatalities each year. 

Additionally, climate change threatens facilities and parks. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events cause damage and limit accessibility.

Why Great Outdoors Month Matters

hiking during great outdoors month
Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash.

Hiking, biking, swimming, and walking positively affect our physical health. Specifically, numerous studies show outdoor activities reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health issues. It also reduces stress, improves mood, and alleviates anxiety and depression. 

Moreover, enjoying the outdoors also creates jobs. In 2016, the outdoor recreation industry grew faster than the US economy, creating 4.5 million jobs nationwide.

The Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016 also reported that the outdoor recreation economy2 put over $412 billion into the US economy, among other economic benefits.

Efforts and Initiatives

Organizations around the world are promoting the protection and preservation of natural environments. For example, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has implemented a sustainable tourism initiative. It aims to balance responsible enjoyment of nature with environmental conservation. 

In the United States, another notable initiative is the National Park Service's Junior Ranger Program, which educates children on the importance of preserving natural spaces. Moreover, the American Hiking Society encourages people to enjoy nature on a hiking trail. 

There’s also the Outdoor Industry Association, a group of industry leaders and experts. Their mission is to share the beauty of the outdoors while ensuring economic growth and conservation of the planet.

How to Get Involved and Support Great Outdoors Month

glacier national park
Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash

To celebrate the Great Outdoors Month, you can join local events highlighting the natural world. These activities provide an opportunity to enjoy nature and create a sense of community among fellow nature enthusiasts with a shared goal of environmental conservation.

Next, volunteering at your local national park can be an option for those seeking a more hands-on role. National parks rely on volunteers for trail maintenance and educational programs. 

Conversely, in today's interconnected world, social media can amplify one's impact. You can share photos or posts about local clean-up events or encourage others to appreciate the beauty around them. For a little inspiration, check out our outdoors quotes and nature quotes, both packed full of wise words to green up your feeds.

Check out these articles about enjoying the open-air of nature:


Great Outdoors Month rekindles our love for enjoying nature while reminding us of the importance of environmental preservation. It encourages people to become better stewards of the environment and take action to impact the ecosystem positively. 

Let’s go outside and have outdoor fun, join local cleanup initiatives, plant trees, and advocate for policies protecting natural spaces like national forests. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is National Great Outdoors Month?

It is a nationwide event promoting outdoor activities and encouraging people to enjoy our outdoor spaces and natural treasures.

2. When is it celebrated?

This event is celebrated throughout June every year.

3. Why is it important?

It raises awareness about the benefits of going outdoors, such as improving physical and mental health, promoting conservation, and strengthening family bonds.

4. How can I join the event?

You can engage in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, or exploring local parks and trails. You can also join events and programs organized by organizations and government agencies.

5. How can I support the event?

You can spread the word about the importance of outdoor activities by sharing your experiences on social media, volunteering for conservation projects or events, and encouraging others to get involved in outdoor activities.


Outdoor Industry Association. (2023). 2023 Outdoor Participation Trends Report.


U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). (2018). Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account: Updated statistics for 2012-2016.

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.

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