August 10, 2021


Eugenie Bostrom, Recreate Responsibly Coalition Manager, Embracing the Bear Consulting eugenie@embracingthebear.com, 424.542.9690
Brandi Horton, Recreate Responsibly Coalition Member, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, brandi@railstotrails.org, 202.974.5155

New Outdoor Recreation Guidelines Emphasize Importance of Preparation, Inclusivity, and Shared Stewardship

Recreate Responsibly Coalition shifts focus to the future and best practices that will keep the outdoor spaces we love thriving

DENVER, CO—Today, the Recreate Responsibly Coalition released new guidelines to encourage people to embrace best practices that foster responsible recreation, inclusivity, and shared stewardship as they spend time in the outdoors.

While the coalition of more than 1,300 organizations formed in response to heightened demand for the outdoors inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, this new focus reinforces the ongoing need to create community—building an outdoors for all and taking good care of the outdoor places we all love. The new guidance maintains a focus on keeping people and outdoor spaces healthy and well and are designed to be enduring and valuable in people’s day-to-day lives.

“The Recreate Responsibly Coalition came together to care for the spaces and communities that represent the best of our country. Our vision was created with the hope to continue the healing and generational joy found through a connection to the outdoors. These new tenets build on that vision in a way that we hope is a lasting invitation to create community in these precious outdoor spaces,” said Juan Martinez, founder of Fresh Tracks, a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, and a member of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition Steering Committee.

Looking forward to a future beyond the pandemic, the coalition’s Recreate Responsibly guidelines remain simple and actionable.

  • Know before you go. Check the status of the place you want to visit for closures, fire restrictions, and weather.
  • Plan and prepare. Reservations and permits may be required. Make sure you have the gear you need and a back-up plan.
  • Build an inclusive outdoors. Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
  • Respect others. There is space for everyone outdoors. Be kind to all who use the outdoors differently.
  • Leave no trace. Respect the land, water, wildlife, and Native communities. Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles.
  • Make it better. We all have a responsibility to sustain the places we love. Volunteer, donate, and advocate for the outdoors.

“We have a shared responsibility to collaboratively create what it means to be successful stewards to our outdoor environment and each other. In order to thrive on this planet together, we must continually recognize, learn, adapt, and grow to our changing needs and opportunities, as well as our historic and evolving challenges,” said Danica Carey, a member of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition Steering Committee and director of marketing operations at Seirus Innovative Accessories. 

With these new guidelines, which were released at the annual Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in Denver, Colorado, the overall #RecreateResponsibly message remains simple: We all have a role to play in keeping people, places, and communities safe as we enjoy the outdoors.

The coalition was first convened by representatives from REI Co-op and the Outdoor Alliance in May of 2020 in response to unprecedented demand on public lands and natural spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has since expanded to include more than 1,300 members representing businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, outdoor media, and influencers. The coalition’s common ground is a shared love of the outdoors, a desire to help everyone experience the benefits of nature, and a belief that by sharing best practices, people can get outside safely and help keep our parks, trails, and public lands accessible.

“This past year has proven the immeasurable impact that time spent outside—whether that’s close to home or on a bucket-list adventure—means to our health, well-being and the social fabric of our shared communities,” said Ryan Chao, president of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and a member of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition Advisory Committee. “As we look to the future, we have a responsibility to each other and to these precious spaces. It’s up to all of us to make the outdoors safe and welcoming for everyone.”

Media assets and resources available in English and Spanish can be accessed at recreateresponsibly.org and by following @recreateresponsibly on Twitter and Instagram, and #RecreateResponsibly across social media platforms.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Connect with RTC at railstotrails.org and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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File size: 126 KB

Published on 08/10/21

Author: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Collection: Trail Promotion

Type: Press release


Tags: Press Releases