Two butterflies hanging out on some trees in the butterfly garden

It's Never Too Late to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month

Even as June is coming to a close, summer is only just beginning. It will never be too late to get outside and celebrate Great Outdoors Month. 

In 1998, former President Clinton signed into creation an event called the Great Outdoors Week. It has since been continued and expanded to the entire month of June by successive presidents, as well as governors in various states. Here in North Carolina, in June of 2014, former Governor Pat McCrory signed a proclamation bringing local attention to the movement by designating June as Great Outdoors Month.

“Whereas, the State of North Carolina offers some of the richest natural resources in the country, from the highest mountain to the tallest active sand dune in the Eastern United States, providing opportunities for its citizens and visitors to explore, contemplate and connect with the Great Outdoors…”

June is a beautiful time of the year to get outside and enjoy the resources we have and spend time with ourselves and our families in a natural setting. This year’s celebration of the Great Outdoors took a backseat this spring to issues currently facing our city, state, and country, but many people have already taken full advantage of the available trails and parks in our city to combat quarantine fatigue and have some fun.

The icing on the cake to this year’s Great Outdoors Month is the Great American Outdoors Act that was passed by the Senate on June 17th. The act, which is now headed to the House, provides money needed to address a major backlog of maintenance from the National Park Service and other agencies and also provides a permanent source of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. That’s a lot of money directed at outdoor recreation!

What can you do to celebrate the Great Outdoors Month?

●    Participate in the Great American Campout
●    Get out and explore a city park or trail
●    Have a family picnic
●    Go for a bike ride on a greenway trail
●    Try learning how to identify a new bird or plant
●    Try some Nature Play Anywhere activities
●    Search the hashtag #EscapeTheIndoors to see what people are doing or saying about the Great Outdoors month!