A new public education campaign to nurture a statewide ethos of responsible outdoor recreation is launching today in celebration of Oregon’s 161st birthday, helping ensure the protection and preservation of Oregon’s bountiful natural spaces for present and future generations.
The campaign is a result of the collaborative work of the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Network, comprised of statewide, federal and private partners, including Travel Oregon, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, KEEN, REI and many more. The campaign encourages outdoor recreationists to “Take Care Out There,” with trip-planning advice, safety tips, preservation guidelines, and encouragement to give back to local communities. The industrious beaver, Oregon’s official state animal known for its restorative conservation practices, is the campaign’s ambassador.
“As interest in Oregon’s outdoor recreation grows, so does the need to preserve and protect our treasured natural assets,” said Cailin O’Brien-Feeney, director of the Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation. “We’re working to build a legacy of respect, ensuring outdoor opportunities for health, connection and joy for many generations to come.”
The Take Care Out There toolkit encourages visitors to “Prepare, Care, Connect,” providing thoughtful guidelines that range from packing the right gear, to staying on the trail, to visiting local cultural centers to enrich one’s experience.
To help share the message, Travel Oregon built a dedicated website, TakeCareOutThere.org, created a tutorial video, and produced educational collateral that is available at Oregon’s eight welcome centers and select retail establishments, including KEEN and REI. In addition, a sweepstakes on traveloregon.com offers a chance to win a “Ten Essentials” gear pack and annual passes to Oregon State Parks and National Parks.
“This incredible public/private partnership means we’re all in this together, working to welcome all visitors eager to embrace the outdoors, while ensuring the safety of both people and ecology, and nurturing a spirit of respect and goodwill,” said Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson.
It’s clear that Oregonians and visitors alike value the state’s natural wonders, which include eleven national forests, nearly 2,000 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers and spaces; 363 miles of public beaches, 361 state parks, 21 National Wildlife refuges, thousands of miles of trails and Crater Lake National Park. Oregon’s bountiful natural resources and public lands are cornerstone to our legacy, our identity and our economy. Every year, more than nine million people enjoy Oregon’s outdoor splendor, contributing to the $12.3 billion tourism economy that employs more than 115,000 Oregonians.
Encouraging and inspiring people to partake in Oregon’s tremendous and bountiful outdoor recreation is an incredibly important part of the positive economic impact and job creation that comes when visitors choose to spend their dollars and time in Oregon. And, it’s not just visitors enjoying the state’s vast public lands. Oregonians also benefit from the scenic splendor. DHM Research found that U.S. residents rate Oregon highest for natural beauty and access to outdoor recreation, making it no surprise that 95% of Oregonians report participating is some form of outdoor recreation each year.