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 Month 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 it was June 1-9 but it can continue throughout the summer. It highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing people's quality of life and preserving our country's natural beauty. It also is when most state’s offer their Free Fishing Days. More information can be found at www.takemefishing.org.

National Get Outdoors Day, June 8, 2019, was a new annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. Participating partners offered opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities.

 Prime goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors. More information can be found at www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org.

National Marina Day will also be held on June 8, 2019. It is a nationwide boating event dedicated to grow boating participation across North America. Marine businesses collaborate to hold events to introduce the public to boating through on-water and landside activities at marinas in every corner of the country. You can learn more by visiting www.nationalmarinaday.org. 

The Great American Backyard Campout is scheduled for June 22, 2019. Having a backyard campout is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. You can listen to nocturnal wildlife sounds, stargaze, cook over an open fire, catch and release fireflies and tell ghost stories with a flashlight. More ideas and information are available at www.backyardcampout.org.

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 nonprofit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and plant resources throughout Mississippi. Their website is www.wildlifemiss.org.