Great Outdoors month spotlights outdoors activities

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Outdoor recreation is enjoyed by nearly every one of us.

It provides economic, mental, physical, and social benefits. Recognition of the value of recreation and the importance of June as a time of recreational activity prompted Presidential designation of June as Great Outdoors Month. The month highlights the shared resources of our parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and water. The central goal is to get people to participate in outdoor recreation and enjoy it.

Great Outdoors Week, which began in 1998 under President Bill Clinton, has grown into Great Outdoors Month. It is a time for all Americans to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors. Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. This month, let us celebrate our natural heritage in which so many Mississippians enjoy.

National Fishing and Boating Week, a national celebration of fishing and boating, takes place the first week of June every year. This year is June 5-13, 2021. It highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing people’s quality of life and preserving our country’s natural beauty. It is also when most state’s offer their Free Fishing Days. More information can be found at www.takemefishing.org.

National Get Outdoors Day, June 12, 2021, is an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. Participating partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities.

Wildlife Mississippi is encouraging  individuals and families to responsibly enjoy outdoor recreation while adhering to COVID-19 public health practices and natural resource stewardship principles. Whether participating in hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, or other outdoor opportunities, these activities support mental and physical well-being while social distancing and are a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mississippi offers abundant public lands and waters for Americans to enjoy while participating in a variety of activities in a safe and constructive manner. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wildlife Mississippi has been working with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, elected officials, and other partners to keep these viable opportunities open and accessible to the public.

Maintaining opportunities for these activities also supports critical conservation funding during this time of economic uncertainty, while also supporting the businesses that drive the outdoor recreation economy.

Celebrate June to the fullest! Go out and do something positive for the environment and have some fun while you do!

James L. Cummins is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plant resources throughout Mississippi. Their website is www.wildlifemiss.org.


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